At 10, Ravit Pearlman is a veteran camper. She started going to overnight camp just before her seventh birthday, and she comes from what her mom, Sacha Reich, enthusiastically describes as a ‘camp family.’ Her dad, Aaron Pearlman, went to the same camp as a boy and later became a counselor there. Asked what she looks forward to at summer camp, Ravit doesn’t hesitate, “Seeing my friends again!” Her eyes sparkle as she eagerly outlines the scene: canoeing, the ropes course, bonding with the counselors, whispering to her cabin mates after dark.
Brian Pacilio was a typical teenager: Busy with sports, school, and friends. But he was not too busy to help out with dinner dishes, do some of the laundry, take out the trash, and keep his bathroom ‘hotel ready.' That’s because for Brian’s mom, Cheryl, it was about more than getting help with housework. It was about helping her son, too. Chores can be an important part of kids’ lives. Not only do tasks at home teach life skills and allow kids to contribute to the running of the household, they also yield benefits that support your child’s academic life.
Play is instinctual and universal. We all engage in play, across all cultures, and all ages. In fact, there seems to be a biological imperative to play, even across the animal world. Mammals that exhibit the most playful behavior are more creative problem-solvers in comparison to animals that are less playful.
There is a strong and growing movement in Calgary recognizing play as integral to our quality of life. The City of Calgary, along with like-minded partner organizations, like TELUS Spark, are recognizing play as critical to creating an active, vibrant and healthy city. The focus on ‘play’ as it contributes to the healthy development of children is becoming imperative to the way many organizations operate. So why are we focusing on bringing free play back?
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child