Laughter Tree is a game based on a laugh therapy activity. ‘Self-expression through bodily play for children in hospital’ is a research project that investigates the interrelationship between Bodily Self-expression and Body image and how this interrelation can be used through digital play to improve children’ self-esteem, children’s emotional expression, bodily expression and body image perception in sick children. The project will create an opportunity for children to express themselves, become co-designers and have fun. It will be conducted in the Day Care Medical Unit at The Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne, Australia).
The research aims to increase the knowledge and use of arts in health environments. The contribution of this project to the existing knowledge relies on the capacity of the interrelation between bodily self-expression and body image to be used in play and digital games as an expressive tool. In doing so the research focuses not only on the potential of the expressive use of a created artefact but also on the creative process itself while giving an opportunity to kids to express themselves and be creative.

The key research question is: How understanding the interrelation between bodily self-expression and body image can facilitate play for sick children and their families in hospital environments?