As an organization focused on community and early childhood development, Calgary Deep South Coalition wanted to create a project that brought families together to learn and play. Working in partnership with Gymboree, the Calgary Public Library, Mastermind Toys and the Calgary Fire Department, CDSC coordinators developed a plan to install an outdoor ‘loose parts play bin’ – a collection of toys, games and learning resources – that would encourage physical, social and emotional growth in kids.
During the unveiling of the bins – which overlapped with National Child Day on November 20th – Gymboree and Mastermind Toys led playtime sessions, the Calgary Fire Department answered questions about safety and the Calgary Public Library brought their mobile library to show the importance of reading. Almost 20 families and 45 children came out during a brisk fall day to meet their neighbours, play as a group and learn about the resources the community offers.
This highly successful project did not require any City permits, and was accomplished using a $750 microgrant from #ActivateYYC plus some generous donations of new toys for the bins. As a result of this project, Copperfield residents have better access to early childhood development resources and are able to be more involved in community play events. Calgary Deep South Coalition is planning future ‘Play Days’ at the community centre to help maintain the bins and build awareness of the program.