2015 Play Highlights

1. Opened the next phase of The Brainasium

2. Took risky play to a new level in summer camps

3. Hosted researchers from Mount Royal University to study play

Looking Ahead

1. International Play Association Conference coming to Calgary in 2017

2. Continuing to develop great local partnerships

3. Premiering a new daily play experience in the Atrium

Play

By: Katherine Ziff, VP, Content, TELUS Spark

Experts ranging from neuroscientists to perceptive parents are agreeing on the importance of play for developing brains. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada notes, “the benefit of play are recognized by the scientific community. There is now evidence that the neural pathways in children’s brains are influenced and advanced in their development through exploration, thinking skills, problem-solving, and language expression that occur during play.” (CMEC Statement on Play-Based Learning).

At TELUS Spark we find ways to play every day, and 2015 was a banner year for play and learning here. We opened phase two of The Brainasium, our year-round outdoor adventure park, adding sky-high swings and even more climbing challenges. We took risky play to a new level in our summer camps by bringing back classic play experiences that children may not get to experience these days, like roasting marshmallows over a campfire. And we hosted researchers from Mount Royal University who studied how children and adults play in The Brainasium (our levels of “vigorous play” are off the charts).

And we’ve got more exciting opportunities for play and learning on the horizon. We’re part of a coalition of local organizations collaborating with the City of Calgary to host the International Play Association conference in 2017, which will put the spotlight on play in Calgary for all of the world to see. These partnerships will foster greater opportunities for play collaborations across the city. Finally, we will bring our play and learning expertise indoors, with a new daily opportunity for play in the Atrium premiering in 2017.