Over 33 children participated in free play, played games, made crafts and socialized during the pilot of the Green Shack program on July 11.
“Our first one went really well. The kids were really engaged, and there are a variety of things,” said the City of Chestermere Community Recreation Coordinator Katelyn Richards.
“From the city perspective, we wanted to create a program that was free, that would get families and kids out, and working on all of those skills that kids should be working on,” Richards said.
When attending the Green Shack program, children are encouraged to participate in many growth activities and social activities.
“Each day there’s a get to know you, so kids and families can get to know each other, and then there’s an active game that goes on, whether it’s a game of tag or an obstacle course, then it’s connecting kids with crafts and fine motor skills,” Richards said.
She added, “All of the program elements tied really well together, and the kids seemed to enjoy it.”
Although the Green Shack program is generally geared towards school-age children, everyone is welcome to attend.
“Children above the age of three will get the most out of it because there are active and social program aspects to the Green Shack program,” Richards said.
However, during the pilot, families brought their babies and hung out under umbrellas while watching their older children play.
“We’re thinking school age, but we’re open to everyone coming. Everyone can get a little bit out of it,” Richards said.
She added, “The staff cater the program to who shows up. If we have older kids, we will modify what was planned, it’s a lot more flexible.”
Not only does the Green Shack program benefit children, and showcase the importance of play, and outdoor play, but it also allows for families to connect with each other.
“It’s for adults also, it’s great for mental health, and physical health,” Richards said.
“Having free opportunities for families to connect with their neighbours, for kids to socialize, connect and get off of their phones, off of their iPad’s, and really get out and connect with people is really important,” she added.
Along with the Green Shack program, families are also encouraged to attend the Mobile Adventure Playground program throughout the summer.
Please visit the City of Chestermere website to see schedules of the Green Shack program, and the Adventure Playground program at https://chestermere.ca/957/Green-Shack-Program.
“It was a really great pairing, and it’s bringing community connection back together,” Richards said.