Bigger Than Bubbles

Blown Up For and About Child Life

Ciara Sprague

Hi Everyone! My name is Ciara and I am the creator of Bigger Than Bubbles. I graduated from California State University Fullerton with my bachelor's degree in child and adolescent development. Once I found out about child life I started pursuing it and never looked back.  I completed my practicum in the summer of 2018 and my internship in the summer of 2019. I completed my master's degree in child life at Loma Linda University in September of 2019 and successfully passed my certification exam in November of 2019. After a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, I can now proudly and officially call myself a certified child life specialist. It was during my practicum experience that I came up with the vision of Bigger Than Bubbles and I am beyond excited to share this with all of you!


My Child Life Philosophy


The play professional, the expert in child development, or the individual with the toys? My philosophy is that I would not be offended by any of these descriptions. Yes, as a field we have grown to be much more than just the person with the bubbles in his or her hand, but I also feel that being able to do child life with just bubbles is what makes us extraordinary. Child life to me means that I can walk into a room and through the use of quick rapport I can distract, educate, and normalize a seemingly scary situation. I also believe that although children are sick, play is their language and toys are their words. Consequently, my philosophy of child life means that we forget about the leukemia, cystic fibrosis, or tumor for just thirty minutes and instead play with play-doh, paint a picture, or make some slime. However, the most important part about child life is that through our play, we can talk about our feelings, we can learn about what is going to happen in the upcoming procedure, and we can try out some coping skills to get us through the entire experience. My play may look like play-doh, but I may be learning about the child’s favorite colors or animals to use in the future when he or she is scared. My afternoon may be spent painting pictures, but I may be learning about why a child is so angry about the cancer they were just diagnosed with. My fingers may be covered in slime, but I may have just taught the child who was frightened of using their hand due to an IV that it is actually not going to hurt. Feel free to call me the play professional, the expert in child development, or the individual with the toys, because the fact is that I would be proud of any of these titles. I would be even more proud to show that what I can do with the use of my graduate education and something as simple as bubbles is much more than what meets the eye. Therefore, I aspire to be a child life specialist because I know that the “work” I do with children is extremely important and will be the most rewarding career that will fortunately not ever feel like a day of work in my life.