KENTVILLE, NS - The Town of Kentville takes play - and all of its benefits - very seriously.
The first anniversary of the Kentville Plays initiative was celebrated with an outer space-themed play event at the Kentville Fire Hall on November 24.
Sarah Pittoello of Hortonville said her three-year-old son Lewyn seemed to be having a great time building with cardboard boxes.
“Lewyn’s been pretty excited about space-related things, and so we thought we’d come check it out with some friends,” Pittoello said.
She said it’s really lovely to have open spaces in the community that are welcoming of kids enjoying unstructured play, so she applauds the Town of Kentville on its initiative. The event presents a chance for participating children to meet new play mates and make new friends, as there were kids from a variety of communities and different schools taking part.
Town of Kentville active living community co-ordinator Julia Stephenson said the Kentville Plays initiative was launched one year ago in conjunction with the Universal Children’s Day. This celebrates article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that every child has the right to play.
Stephenson said they’ve done a lot in conjunction with the Kentville Plays initiative over the past year, such as launching the Kentville Playboxes, adding play stations at different events and holding monthly play challenges. She said it’s been really exciting to see it grow.
The town’s Parks and Recreation department has partnered with students from the Acadia University Community Development program’s Community Design class to help facilitate the now annual themed play event.
“You’ll see a number of the students here today that have sort of brought a fresh energy to the event, so that’s been awesome,” Stephenson said.
There were eight different play stations set up for the Kentville Plays event. She said the stations use no special equipment and are easy to replicate at home.
These included a dress-up station, sensory play, a listen and draw station with headphones and cosmic sounds, loose parts, items from the town’s playboxes, the ever-popular cardboard box building station, arts and crafts and camping on the moon, including tents and various cozy items.