KENTVILLE, NS - The United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child says that every child has the right to play and Kentville’s Parks and Recreation department is taking this to heart.
A new initiative called “Kentville Plays!” is being launched in response to Article 31 of the charter. In 1954, the UN declared Nov. 20 as Universal Children’s Day to, among other things, improve the welfare of children.
To commemorate this day and to launch the new “Kentville Plays!” initiative, the Parks and Recreation department is hosting a community play day at the Kentville Fire Hall on Nov. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The community play day is a chance for families and members of the community to play and engage in conversation about how to bring more play to the community.
Parks and Recreation director Rachel Bedingfield said play is not just about providing safe playgrounds for kids. Fundamentally, play is about protecting the child’s right to be free to explore and discover the physical and social world around them on their own terms, without formal structure.
“We’re going to play together as families, as community, as people who value the health and wellbeing of our children,” Bedingfield said. “Our goal is to become Canada’s most playful community; one that takes play - and all of its benefits – very seriously.”
Active Living Community co-ordinator Julia Stephenson said they’d be engaging with children and adults to explore the larger initiative of “Kentville Plays!” It’s all about finding ways to become a more playful town, how to make free play an easy choice and how to support play with tools like community play boxes.
“We’ll have several really fun play stations set up for kids, families and community members. From moon sand to fort building, loose parts to volcanoes – there’ll be something for every child and child at heart,” Stephenson said.