This case report described an experience using therapeutic play in the care of a school-age living donor liver transplant recipient. A first intervention employed playing the patient's favorite game in order to create a therapeutic relationship. The author then introduced therapeutic play elements into the game to observe the patient's personal health behaviors, evaluate patient perception of hospitalization and assess the knowledge of self-care protocols. Therapeutic play was then used to raise patient familiarity with daily care specifics. The author found therapeutic play also helpful in persuading the patient to share deep feelings on the anxiety of separation from her parents while in the ICU. During the nursing process, the author recognized therapeutic play as an effective tool to communicate with children and improve treatment protocol compliance. The author recommends that nurses incorporate therapeutic play in clinical practice to reduce children's stress during hospitalization.