One of the most unique features of palliative care for children is that, unlike most adults, children have not yet reached physical, social, emotional, cognitive or spiritual maturity. As they mature, their understanding of concepts and situations, their skills and abilities are in a state of continual flux and modification. Add to this anomaly the inalienable right of every child to continue to receive an education, where possible, and to be given regular opportunities to socialise and play, it becomes immediately apparent that an understanding of child development and the importance of play is essential to the provision of quality palliative care for a child.