Child life specialists at Joslin Diabetes Center utilize medical play with young patients to normalize medical supplies like syringes and test strips that become a constant in the child’s life when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Often times children develop a fear around these materials. While clinical surroundings and medical supplies can be overwhelming to young children there is an easy and fun way to desensitize children towards these fears. 

Our child life specialists share some of the ways that they help Joslin Pediatric patients become more familiar with medical procedures, equipment, and the healthcare environment in a way that won’t scare them.

Check out one of their favorite craft that provides sensory fun and glitter!

Joslin Child Life Specialists Stephanie and Maura show the glitter tube they made
Joslin Child Life Specialist Stephanie and Maura

Test Tube Sparkle Wands

Supplies: Test Tubes, Glitter, Food Coloring, Water, Baby Oil, Tape, Funnel

  1. Use the funnel to fill the test tube up with water about have a way to the top
  2. Add a small amount of baby oil (half as much as the water)
  3. Put the cap back on and give it a shake
  4. Open back up and add two drops of food coloring
  5. Put the cap back on and give a shake
  6. Use the funnel and add a little bit of glitter
  7. Add the cap back on and give a shake
  8. Put some tape on the top of the cap if you would like.


To make an appointment in our Pediatric Clinic, call 617-732-2603. 

If it is after work hours and your child needs urgent medical attention, call 617-309-2400 and ask for the On-Call Pediatric Endocrinologist.