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Pop Up Play Edmonton

Child Friendly Edmonton is looking to make Edmonton more playful by providing quality experiences, features and events for children and families throughout the year.

What is Play?

Play has evolved into something new. Children spend more time indoors with technology targeting play time:

  • Internet
  • Video games
  • Cell phones
  • Tablets

Although organized sports and activities engage children to be active, Free Play offers something beyond exercise. The ultimate goal of Pop Up Play in Edmonton is to bring families and children together in the community by providing opportunities for Free Play.

Free Play is play that’s guided by the agenda of the child. It’s when children freely choose to engage in the play because they want to rather than being told to. This improves a child’s development by using different skills:

  • Creativity
  • Situational adaptation
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Emotional development
  • Problem solving

Free Play is:

  • An umbrella term used to describe play that’s freely chosen, naturally motivated and personally directed by the “player”
  • Typically not influenced by adults or supervisors
  • It can be a messy adventure or quiet project. It’s up to the child!
  • A fundamental Right of the Child as determined by the United Nations

Loose Parts is at the heart of Free Play and uses everyday items that can be moved, carried, stacked or altered. Examples of these items include cardboard and paper that don’t come with instructions and are repurposed for play. Children benefit from creating their own ideas as adults step back to allow the children to lead.

Adults and Animators during Free Play facilitate children’s experiences, manage any hazards that may come up and create engaging play spaces.

As adults, we should be active in our support of Free Play by allowing children to negotiate challenges on their own to create learning opportunities that aren’t necessarily provided in the classroom.

Information was provided to Child Friendly Edmonton by University of Alberta Play Around the World graduates and co-owners of Project: Play, Child Friendly Edmonton's play animation partners, Anthony Bourque and Meghan Klettke.