April 24, 2018 - The Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC Thunder Bay) welcomed Pierre Harrison, educator and founder of PLAYLearnThink (Sudbury) to provide play ambassador training to professionals in our community. Pierre delivered a dynamic, hands-on, full-day of training to over 80 educators, early childhood educators, childcare staff and community leaders in Thunder Bay.
The training opportunity supported the HKCC’s Power Off and Play! initiative that encourages kids and families to build a balanced day by replacing screen time with more physical activity, social interaction and fun educational choices.
“We wanted to impart the importance of free play to the educators and leaders working with our children,” said Marianne Stewart, HKCC Thunder Bay Coordinator. “Play offers so many benefits to children including increased physical literacy and fitness, improved language and communication skills and it helps kids develop a positive sense of self.”
Participants engaged in sessions designed to help them discover the importance of play in the healthy development of children. The morning was spent exploring their creativity when presented with a multitude of materials (loose parts) and tools. Through this method, participants were able to experience first-hand the joys of self-directed, spontaneous play. The afternoon focused on physical literacy development through child-directed play and creating a model of an indoor/outdoor play space they would like develop at their site.
“By training so many professionals about the relationship of free-play to improve children’s health and well-being, we hope that our schools, childcare centres and community organizations will prioritize play in their program planning and that more kids will get to experience the empowering feeling of directing their own play,” she adds.
If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Coordinator at 625-5962.