Dad Turns Bedsheets into Board Games To Entertain Kids Staying In The Hospital
Having a sick child in the hospital is every parent’s worst nightmare. Not only is your child suffering in pain or illness, but they are also going to be mentally affected by the monotonous environment. Hospitals are not exactly pleasure parks. From the neutral colors and scary machines to the medications and lack of activities, children who have to spend several days or months at the hospital usually have a hard time adjusting to the scenery.
This was the motivation for Kevin Gatlin, a North Carolina dad and entrepreneur after he visited a friend’s sick child in the hospital.  Gatlin had always disliked hospitals, but after seeing the poor kid lying on the white sheets, staring at nothing and struggling with sickness and boredom, he knew he never wanted to see another child in that frame of mind again.
Speaking to NewsWest9, Gatlin said he’d placed his own child in that position and was not pleased by the emotions that followed.  “What if this was my son? How would we preoccupy the time?”
He explains that he was inspired as he watched his wife and son use the bed to do nearly everything. “My wife used to utilize the bed with our son, they would play board games, they would do homework assignments. It was the biggest piece of furniture in the room.”
Two years later, Gatlin launched his own child bed item manufacturing company named Playtime Edventures. They produce bedding materials printed with varieties of interactive board games and puzzles to children staying at hospitals.
Before his idea was finally birthed, Gatlin met with several school teachers to work out the best school-grade materials to be printed on the colorful sheets. From colorful checker games and wild treasure hunts to exciting word puzzles and solar systems, there’s always something special for every child.
“We put together bedsheets and slumber bags that cover everything from Geography, Math, Science, Grammar, word find games, oversized game boards… all on a three-piece set,” Gatlin said.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that a child is in,” he added. “It’s great for the child life coordinator and the nurses and doctors — it gives them a tool that they can use before they just poke the kid.”
A fulfilling venture
As of 2019, Gatlin could count 10 hospitals he knew of that had purchased his merchandise for their pediatric wards. He wasn’t entirely sure how many people had purchased them because his company owned an online store and anyone could shop whenever they wanted.
“Individuals purchase our bedsheets online and they donate them to hospitals across the U.S.,” Gatlin explains. “We’ve had our bedsheets purchased for hospitals internationally.”
As of July 2020, the three-piece sets including two pillowcases and a blanket are sold at $29.99. The four-piece ultimate combo with a fitted sheet, a cover sheet, a full sheet, and a pillowcase goes for $52.99. Lone pillowcases are sold at $8.99.
Gatlin explains that his business, like every other, has had its rough times, but at the end of the day, knowing that his products would make a child’s stay at the hospital less difficult is truly rewarding.
“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,” he said.
Gatlin said to Scary Mommy: “To a child, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in their life. It’s not a place just for punishment or only to be used when they’re sick or when it’s time to go to sleep! We want our Playtime Bed Sheets to help create an environment where kids can continue to play, learn, sleep, and heal on their favorite piece of furniture!” Click here if you’d like to donate to Playtime Edventrues to encourage the good work.
- “Dad Turns Board Games into Bed Sheets So Sick Kids Lying in Hospitals Won’t Get Bored.” Good News Network. Mickenly Corbley. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
- “Charlotte man creating fun and engaging bed sheets for children in hospitals.” NewsWest9. Meilin Tompkins. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
- ” Dad Turns Bedsheets Into Board Games To Entertain Kids Staying In The Hospital.” Scary Mommy. Valerie Williams. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
- Play Time Edventures.