Live 5210 Play Box Program
Committees & Organizations Involved
Tri-Cities ECD Committee, Tri-Cities MCM Committee, Tri-Cities Healthy Living Working Group
Tri-Cities ECD Committee, Tri-Cities MCM Committee
For more information and updates about the Playboxes in all communities: Please contact the SCOPE Central Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-875-2000 ext. 5519.
A sister initiative of the Unplug & Connect campaign, the Play Box program was brought to Port Coquitlam and Port Moody in 2017 as a way to make outdoor physical activity easier for children and families. Live 5-2-1-0 began supporting communities to establish play boxes in 2014, where play boxes were added in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
With the help of Scope BC's Live 5-2-1-0, Angelo Lam (MCM Coordinator) worked with the City of Port Coquitlam and the City of Port Moody to provide locations for 3 play boxes. Play boxes in the Tri-Cities were unveiled in 2017. Initially, our play boxes in the Tri-Cities were accessed by acquiring a code for a lock on the box to access sports equipment, sidewalk chalk and other toys for kids to play with. Play boxes are now lock-free.
To help maintain play boxes, the committees established an ambassador program where citizens signed up to monitor the play boxes. Play box equipment will vary for each play box, and, at times, will need equipment replenishment and maintenance.
A Play Box is an industrial job site box containing sports equipment and toys that support families to raise healthy children through more physical activity. There is a wrap around the boxes with Live 5-2-1-0 icons and partners’ logos. They are located in public parks and families can access them for free, anytime the park is open.
Contents can vary from Play Box to Play Box and may also be adjusted according to the time of year. Each Play Box will include instructions for various games that families can play. Normally a Play Box will contain some combination of the following items:
- Soccer balls
- Skipping ropes
- Sidewalk chalk
- Playground balls
- Hula hoops
Please ensure your children use the play box safely by only using it to get equipment and place it back in. When borrowing equipment for your play time, put it back in the box after you are done so the next child can access the same equipment when they use the play box. With your respectful help, play boxes can be enjoyed by all kids at all times. A full box puts a smile on a child's face!
According to Statistics Canada, obesity rates among children and youth in Canada have nearly tripled in the last 30 years. 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese — 1.6 million kids. Childhood obesity increases the risk for serious chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Research informs us that children raised in an environment where they are active have better physical and emotional health, perform better academically, and have greater leadership skills. Physical activity also lowers depression while increasing productivity and innovation. These are essential components to a healthy and thriving community.
Parents want their children to be healthy, to play, and to have fun. The reality is that there can be a number of challenges to making that happen:
- Many parents don’t know how to play with their kids - They perhaps grew up in a family that didn’t engage in play or they are so busy trying to keep up with everything that they don’t have the time to think about how to play with their kids.
- Lack of money – buying toys and props to play with outside isn’t within the financial reach of many families in the Tri-Cities.
- Lack of convenience of programs – signing kids up for programs can present a number of barriers for parents such as cost, location (it’s yet another place they have to take their child to/from), scheduling (it can be tough to try and fit the program schedule - life is unpredictable)
- Commitment – for many families, committing to a 6 or 8 week program just feels like it’s too much
- Isolation – with busy schedules, lack of interaction with neighbours, lack of family close-by, social isolation is becoming a significant problem in our community. How and where do you meet new people? How do you make the time to meet new people? Not only does this lead to social isolation, it also starts to erode the fabric of our sense of community and belonging.
So, in an effort to ease some of these challenges, the Tri-Cities Healthy Living Working Group, along with its partners, launched the Live 5-2-1-0 Play Boxes with SCOPE at BC Children's Hospital.
The Tri-Cities Healthy Living Working group is a collaborative of School District 43, Local Municipalities, Fraser Health Authority, Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Not-for-Profit Organizations from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra. It includes representation also from the local Early Childhood Development Committee and the Middle Childhood Matters Committee.
In The Media
Live 5-2-1-0 Play Boxes in the News: