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Stay & Play: The Power of Play



  • kids playing with dinosaur in Clemens Mill children's area
  • kids playing with corn kernals in sensory stations at Queen's Square children's area
  • kid playing with blocks of wood in Queen's Square children's area

Andrea Siemens, Manager, Youth Services | January 13, 2020

PLAY!  We know it builds literacy, creativity, curiosity, empathy, and other life skills. In following Idea Exchange’s vision to “create an environment of curiosity and discovery through the exploration of the arts and new technologies,” our spaces need to reflect our dedication to play and discovery-based learning. We know that early learning is developed through play, but it is not only children that benefit from hands-on learning experiences; adults also learn through exploration.  This is why you’ll find tables with puzzles, board games, adult colouring sheets, building toys, and technology when you visit an Idea Exchange location. More importantly, you’ll find people playing and learning together.

Idea Exchange believes in the power of play and interactive learning. We may not always be the experts; we are also the curious, the tinkerer, the novice, and the explorer. We are also here to learn, to play, and to discover. Our goal is to support lifelong learning for our members and for ourselves.

As I write this article, five children and two adults are playing a rousing game of Headbanz together. This sort of inter-generational play in our space creates an active environment, alive and full of potential. A place that sparks creativity, innovation, and develops a life-long love of learning for all ages.

This winter, we invite you to our special Stay & Play programs in December and January (see below for details).  With new hands-on activity stations set up each day in the Children’s areas, there will always be something new to discover and explore. No registration required – drop-in and PLAY with us!

December STEAM Stay & Play
Weekdays: December 2 to 13
10:00am – 12:00pm
We’ve lined up new holiday discovery stations for each weekday.

Monday – Friday, December 30 – January 3 (excluding January 1)
10:30am – 3:30pm
Dive into experiments, explore exciting projects, be creative, and try your hand at innovative technologies.

STEAM Stay & Play
Saturdays: January 11 – February 29
10:30am – 3:30pm
There's something new to explore each week!