Junkyard Playground At TELUS Spark Science Centre

Junkyard Playground 2022

A little messy, a little risky and a LOT of fun!

Free play builds strong minds

The Junkyard Playground is a space just for kids – and only kids. It is an imagin-atorium, where kids can unleash their creativity and build a world of their own. Using tools and recycled materials kids will get the opportunity to literally create anything wonderful and chaotic that comes to mind.

What is the point of the Junkyard Playground? The simple answer is: free play. Allowing kids to have the freedom to play without distraction or influence helps build stronger brains! Free play gives kids a unique chance to lead their own play, as they build their physical, emotional and cognitive abilities.


  • Location: Brainasium.
  • Included in general admission or a Spark Membership.
  • The Junkyard Playground is for kids only.
  • Kids will have access to tools like hammers, shovels and gardening tools (risky play is great for growth).
  • Closed-toed shoes must be worn while in the Junkyard Playground.
  • Imagination is 100% required to enter the Junkyard Playground!

The Junkyard will be open during Spark Operating Hours 

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday to Thursday and Sunday

9:00 AM – 7:00 PM Friday and Saturday

From August 4th to September 5th

Junkyard will be closed during extreme weather conditions


    • What is free play?

      · Play is PLEASUREABLE. Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play.

      · Play is INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behaviour itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.

      · Play is PROCESS ORIENTED. When children play, the means are more important than the ends.

      · Play is FREELY CHOSEN. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play.

      · Play is ACTIVELY ENGAGED. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity.

      · Play is NON-LITERAL. It involves make-believe.

    • When is the Junkyard Playground open?

      The Junkyard will be open during Spark Operating Hours:

      9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday to Thursday and Sunday

      9:00 AM – 7:00 PM Friday Saturday

      From August 4th – September 5th

      Junkyard will be closed during extreme weather conditions

    • Are parents allowed in the Junkyard Playground?

      Junkyard Playground is just for kids, but adults can stay close by to watch the adventure unfold. A trained play facilitator will be in the Junkyard Playground to keep the space safe, but more importantly, inspire new types of play.

    • Can I donate supplies?

      Yes! There is a donation bin at Front of House by the front doors of Spark.

    • What tools will children have access to?

      Hammers, shovels, scissors and gardening tools are all options that will be available to children.

    • I’m here as an aide, can I go in with them?

      Yes, this is the exception to the ‘no adults’ rule. Please just try to remain as invisible as possible. Facilitators can share some tips with you for how to do that.

    • What happens if my child gets hurt?

      By allowing your child into the Junkyard Playground you accept risks that exist (and also accept the huge amount of benefit!). If your child does get hurt, we have a First Aid process that will be followed just as it is in the rest of the building.

    • How is this playground safe?

      We do walkthroughs throughout the day to minimize all of the hazards in the Junkyard Playground. Our staff are trained to remove hazards so that kids can play and take risks.

    • Can my toddler go into the Junkyard Playground? Is my child too young?

      If you know what to expect and you think that they will be able to navigate it on their own/with a sibling, then yes!

    • Who is monitoring my kid?

      The role of Play Facilitator is to ensure that all children have the freedom to play without adult intervention. We will be mindful of what is happening in the space, but no one will be “monitoring” any of the children.

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