About the Little Stars PLAYhouse

Who has not taken delight from the sound of children’s laughter and marvelled at their ingenuity as they play at being pirates and princesses, artists and acrobats, witches and warriors?

Child’s play is fun to watch and fun to join in.

There is a serious side to play, however. Play is SO important to healthy child development, that it has been recognized by the United Nations as the right of every child. Play is how we learn to solve problems, to be creative and to be with others in healthy relationships. Play strengthens family bonds and in doing so, teaches children to become nurturing parents themselves. But play is something often taken for granted. Not every child has the opportunity to explore play in a safe and stimulating environment. Not every child has parents who can take the time or provide the resources that are available in more affluent homes and neighbourhoods.

In 2016, a new, custom-built playhouse will begin construction at 681/683 Selkirk Avenue for North End children and their caregivers/extended families. It will be called the Little Stars PLAYhouse.

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The Little Stars PLAYhouse is a child and extended family centred hub designed to meet the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs of newborns to 5 year olds and their families. The PLAYhouse will be a multi-use dynamic facility with a diverse staff, advisory committee and an on-site medical professional to guide and care for our families. Through a wide range of activity centres, play areas, toys, books, a child friendly kitchen, resources and programming we will empower our children and their caregivers.

As income and transportation issues often limit our families’ opportunities to explore outside of their neighbourhood, programming at the PLAYhouse will include field trips to Fort Whyte Nature ALIVE, Children’s Museum, Bird’s Hill Park, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Crow Wing Camp, local farms, pools and recreation centres. These trips will broaden the horizons of our children and their caregivers. Also, we will offer guidance on nutrition, physical literacy, positive parenting, language and literacy development. These will be supported by the partnerships that have been developed over the years.

Music will emanate throughout the PLAYhouse during the day while the newborns to 5 year olds playfully interact with their significant adults. After our little ones go home, the Playhouse will be open after school for music programs. Our North End children will learn to play musical instruments, sing and engage in other artistic endeavours.

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More information about the PLAYhouse:

This video by Paul Graham really captures what North End Stay and Play is all about and why we need our own place for the kiddies under 5 and their caregivers:

Walk through of the PLAYhouse by Cibinel Architects:

CBC Article about the Little Stars PLAYhouse:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/phoenix-sinclair-s-legacy-to-live-on-at-north-end-stay-and-play-1.3108317