Play in the City of Calgary

Play is fundamental for the well-being of our children’s mental and physical health. More than ever, it is crucial to emphasize the necessity of our children’s right to play. Playing helps children foster peer relationships and gain confidence. Our programs give children the time, freedom, and space to play in convenient natural spaces near our homes. Some of our programs have evolved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did you know that free play for children has a myriad of benefits? Through play children can cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, confusion, loneliness and gain a connection with the natural world around them. Many children face challenges such as inactive behaviours, over-planned schedules, and parental concerns over safety that many believe are reducing their chances of enjoying healthy and active lives.

Calgary Play Charter

Our goal is to create a variety of play opportunities throughout Calgary with the help of the organizations who signed the Calgary Play Charter.

The Play Guides​ are available to help municipalities and organizations increase play in their communities. They are based on the experiences of The City of Calgary who, since 2016, facilitated the creation, signing, and ongoing implementation of the Calgary Play Charter as well as the development and implementation of a Mobile Adventure Playground.

National Play Day is August 3, 2022

The International Play Association of Canada (IPAC) National Play Day initiative puts the spotlight on child-directed play. IPA Canada developed a PlayDay Guide for our original campaign in 2000 that is available for download on their Resources page (Le guide est aussi disponible en français).

The International Play Association of Canada (IPAC) is launching a new Play Champions program coinciding with World Children’s Day as celebrated by the United Nations each November 20th.

Any Canadian citizen or organization that focuses on the rights or the opportunities for children and youth to experience high quality play may be eligible to be recognized as a Play Champion by adopting or supporting the IPAC Declaration Of Play or the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31 principles in delivering play initiatives and improve the quality of play for children and youth in local regions or across Canada.

For detailed Play Champions information download the program summary and the application/nomination.

Play opportunities for children