These Bedsheets are Board Games to Keep Sick Kids Entertained

Refusing to sleep on education

Apr 30, 2019

(Courtesy of Playtime Adventures)

Kevin Gatlin knows first hand what it means to be stuck in sterile hospital environments with nothing to do. He himself spent a week in the hospital as a child. To ensure that kids could feel their age - even while hospitalized and stuck in their rooms for days on end - he dreamt up a fun, spirited solution.

Gatlin’s masterplan? Playtime Edventures, a set of bed sheets with dozens of lessons and games that children can play during their hospital stay. The company sells over fifty interactive games on bed sheets and sleeping bags that help kids “play, learn, sleep and heal,” and provide the “the perfect daytime alternative to excessive TV watching, electronic devices, and the perfect structure to get kids to bed.”

The entrepreneur from Charlotte, North Carolina, came up with the idea after visiting his friend’s child in the hospital a few years ago. Immediately, he felt their pain of spending days in a stark, white room and remembered what his wife would do for their not-so-sleepy son; she’d play board games on his bed to help him fall asleep.

It took Gatlin two years of innovating and perfecting a product that would keep children stimulated from their beds. During that time, he also collaborated with several school teachers to make the games as educational as they are entertaining.

Gatlin explained that the sheets cover a wide variety of topics to keep kids interested.

“We put together bed sheets and slumber bags that cover everything from geography, math, science, grammar, word find games… all on a three-piece set,” he told KWES.

Currently, Gatlin’s sheets are used in 10 different hospitals around the US, though the number could quickly grow, as customers can donate bedsheets to their local hospital.

Of course, the sheets aren’t only restricted to hospitals. Parents can purchase the set for their own home as well. Gatlin’s aim, however, is to see the sheets in hospitals around the world--fostering joy in places that are usually cold and clinical. Though he operates a business, Gatlin says his true joy is witnessing how his designs allow kids to be kids.

“You’re a business and you have to make money. There’s a lot of ups and downs – but when you notice a child utilizing your product for what it’s meant for, that’s priceless.”

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.