A Playbox is a box full of outdoor toys and games to play with for free! It may include soccer balls, volleyballs, Frisbees, skipping ropes, badminton racquets, birdies, tennis racquets, tennis balls and games complete with a manual of active game ideas to help guide family play and interaction.
When was the last time you played outside? Thanks to some new play boxes at local Richmond parks, unlocking adventure and play has becoming much easier.
At an event hosted by the City of Richmond earlier this week, three new Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes filled with outdoor toys and games were launched to encourage children and adults alike to get out and play outside.
“Play is a crucial ingredient for healthy child development," says VCH-Richmond Public Health manager, Chris Salgado. “In fact, there is strong research that shows how play builds thriving brains, bodies and social bonds – all important in today's world."
The three new Playboxes can be accessed for free and are located at Minoru Park, Lang Neighbourhood Park and Brighouse Elementary School. Families are encouraged to get the code to unlock the box, play with the toys and then return them to the box when playtime is done. For a limited time, these new Playboxes will also be accompanied with some surprises. Concrete graphics have been creatively placed to animate the play area, including some that are only unveiled in the rain. Families are encouraged to dress for the weather, use their imagination and get out and play!
This project is part of the City of Richmond Community Wellness Strategy and is delivered in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health – Richmond, Richmond School District 38, City Centre Community Association and Richmond Fitness and Wellness Association, with support from the BC Healthy Communities Society's Active Communities Grant.
“We're pleased to have collaborated with the City on this project as we see play as a key component of both the Richmond Community Wellness Strategy and VCH's Public Health Physical Activity Strategy. It's clear that active and unstructured play for kids is powerful preventive medicine and we believe in the power of play," says Chris. “This project is all about getting kids outdoors all year round, being physically active, unlocking their imaginations and creative minds, stimulating their brains, and encouraging interaction with other kids to strengthen their social connections."
Richmond has Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes for all to enjoy at six locations: Brighouse Elementary School, Cambie Community Centre, Hamilton Community Centre, Lang Neighbourhood Park, Minoru Park and Thompson Community Centre.
For free access to outdoor play and sports equipment, request the code and open the box to a surprise of fun with balls, games, racquets and more. For more information, visit www.richmond.ca/playbox.