A new playground initiative in Langley City’s Portage Park kicks off next month called Adventure Playground. (Langley Advance Times files)

A new playground initiative in Langley City’s Portage Park kicks off next month called Adventure Playground. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley City rolls out new type of playground initiative

A free summer adventure-based program will begin at Portage Park in early July

Langley City is unveiling a plan aimed at getting kids outdoors to play and tap into their creativity.

The City, partnering with Langley Children’s Committee and Langley School District Foundation, is launch the first of its kind Langley Adventure Playground pilot program at Portage Park next month.

It’s free drop-in fun for kids ages five to 11 years old, explained Karlo Tamondong, recreation supervisor for the City.

Instead of typical playground equipment like swings and slides, adventure playgrounds use loose pieces of wood, tires, tarps, paint, gardening tools, and whatever else can be found to inspire children to follow their instincts, ideas, and interests without expected outcomes.

“Play can happen nearly anywhere, with nearly anything, and under nearly any circumstances, said Tamondong.

“Adventure playgrounds are places where kids create and change their environment, and where they can bring out their own sense of adventure, be creative, and be imaginative while balancing and assessing their own risk.”

In this case, the adventure playground is being set up at Portage Park, next to Michaud House off 204th Street in the City, and will run five days a week from July 5 through Sept. 3.

Two recreation workers will be on-site to inspire kids to explore free, fun-filled, drop-in play and to help with tools and equipment every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Fraser Health consulted on the planning and evaluation of this project, Tamondong explained, noting that unstructured play may help children build skills such as planning, troubleshooting, problem-solving, negotiating, and multi-tasking by exploring their unique creativity.

Adventure playgrounds provide an environment for children to explore with minimal adult guidance and intervention. Parents are encouraged to stay outside the fenced area and watch their childrens’ imaginations “soar” in this new adventure space.

For more information on this program, people can visit the Langley Adventure Playground webpage.

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