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Man creates board game sheets for children confined to hospital beds

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While visiting a friend’s sick child in the hospital, one man came up with an idea, made it his mission to follow through and created something to help sick kids everywhere while they’re contained to a hospital bed.

During the visit, Kevin Gatlin and everyone else in the room were doing what they could to keep up the child’s spirits.

“I was thinking how that could be my kid,” he said.

Gatlin thought about how the bed is the biggest piece of furniture in a hospital room and how his wife always utilized the bed when their son was sick, transforming it for school work, games and more.

Then, he said he got an idea: “What if there were games printed on the bed sheets?”

Gatlin went to his mother to discuss his idea, which he admits was basically just to put tic tac toe and checkers on the sheets.

He joked that the immediate response from his mother, who was a teacher, was, “You’re not going to put anything educational on there?”

So the planning began.

After two years of redesigning and redesigning, Gatlin got his first batch of the sheets, and they were a far cry from his first vision — in a good way.

The pillow covers are story starters, encouraging kids and families to create their own stories.

The flat sheet has positive affirmations and oversized board games.

The fitted sheets have education type lessons, including geography, grammar, nutrition, science and math. It even has several different languages, including sign language.

In case you’re worrying about game pieces to play the games with, don’t -- Gatlin thought of everything.

“With hospital regulations, you can’t have game pieces,” he said, so he created printable ones, which are free on his website, Playtime Edventures.

He said you can also use loose change or other items laying around.

“The thought process is, ‘What does mom have in her purse?’” 

Gatlin said what came after his first batch of sheets, which he joked about paying too much for, was somewhat spiritual in nature.

“Not only did I overpay, but (then) God (also) said, ‘I want you to donate 64 of your bed sheets.'”

It just so happened a Salvation Army children’s hospital was being built with 64 beds and officials there asked if he would consider donating.

Gatlin said it was as if God were saying to him, “If you want me to bless you, you gotta do this.”

So he did.

“It brightened up that whole shelter. It was great.”

Not only has Gatlin donated, but he’s made it an option for people who go to his website, as well. For people who want to donate the bed sheets to a particular hospital or organization, they will get a reduced price and Gatlin's company will handle sending them and all.

Want to make the day of a child who's sick or hospitalized? Click here to see the options of bed sheets and sleeping bags.

About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.