The Kimberley Playbox program is now at Rotary Park. Playboxes are part of a program with the Healthy Kimberley organization, encouraging kids to get outside and play through the SCOPE Live 5-2-1-0 initiatives.
The Mark Creek Lions club, Healthy Kimberley, and the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice all made financial contributions to the Playbox, while Healthy Kimberley did the coordination.
Dr. Ilona Hale with Healthy Kimberley said, “the City has been a very helpful partner in helping us find a suitable location for the box, installing it, and they will help with the long-term monitoring along with Healthy Kimberley.”
The Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes are industrial metal boxes that are installed at community parks and contain equipment and ideas for active play. The boxes are wrapped with colourful vinyl graphics and secured with combination locks.
The best part about the Playbox is that it is completely free to utilize. To gain access to the Playbox, one must simply go to the Healthy Kimberley Facebook page, retrieve a code, and enter the code into the lock box. The Playbox at Rotary Park is located directly beside the Splash Park.
SCOPE (Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement) is an initiative that partners with communities across BC to promote healthy behaviours in children.
SCOPE endorses and coordinates Live 5-2-1-0, which is a message to help kids and families adopt healthy habits. It stands for give or more vegetables and fruits every day, no more than two hours of screen time a day, at least one hour of active play, and zero sugary drinks.
Dr. Hale encourages families and children to get out to Kimberley’s Rotary Park and play with the equipment inside the Playboxes. Inside you can find hoola-hoops, balls, jump rope, badminton, frisbees, and more.
“Feel free to stop by and play, but remember to put all of the equipment back, or donate new toys,” said Hale, who added that toys inevitably get broken or left out. If you want to donate items to the Playboxes, simply drop by a box and drop them in.
Playboxes were invented in 2014, starting in Abbotsford in three different socioeconomic areas. The idea was to provide families with equipment, unlimited access, and the opportunity to engage with other families in order to make a difference in quality of life. Since that launch, Playboxes have been popping up in communities across BC.