WinSport’s Free Summer Camp Kickoff Family Open House gives parents and kids an inside look at why outdoor play is so important

WinSport has continued to invest and enhance its summer camps this year and wants parents and kids to see what the new camps are all about at its FREE open house on May 25.

WinSport's Summer Camp Kickoff Open House features activities for all camp activities – 16 in total – for ages 3-15. They are some of the activities featured in our hockey, sport development, wildhood nature, bikes and blades and trampoline camps.
WinSport’s Summer Camp Kickoff Open House features activities for all camp activities – 16 in total – for ages 3-15. They are some of the activities featured in our hockey, sport development, wildhood nature, bikes and blades and trampoline camps.

“This is a great opportunity for parents to meet instructors and gain an understanding of what their children will experience and learn at camp,” says Jennifer Konopaki, WinSport’s Director, Sport Leadership. “Summer is a precious time for families. We want parents to walk away feeling confident that they made the right choice for their child in registering in a WinSport camp. School is out, and summer is childrens’ time to be engaged in active, outdoor play where they get to have fun with their friends.”

The kickoff features activities for all camp activities – 16 in total – for ages 3-15. They are some of the activities featured in our hockey, sport development, wildhood nature, bikes and blades and trampoline camps.

WinSport has been running camps for more than 20 years, so as you can imagine, a camp today is very different than it was back in the ‘90s. That’s because our programming is dynamic and innovative – the team incorporates the latest research and best practice to ensure an optimal learning and quality sport experience. Today, kids are attached to technology through their phones, iPads and TVs and it can be detrimental for their development – both socially and physically. That’s why our camps focus on getting kids off their screens and back outside, Konopaki says.

“It’s one of the reasons why we changed our camps and did so by focusing on outdoor play to ensure the health and well-being of the next generation,” she says.

You and your child will experience this at the open house. The hands-on approach will allow kids to try activities and interact with instructors, so you know which one best fits your child’s interest. Drop-in sessions take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. These sessions will allow the entire family to truly experience what our camps have to offer so you can see which one fits your kids.

We believe good things happen when kids play and we are confident you will, too. We hope to see you at our Summer Camp Kick-Off Family Open House.

For information on how to register for the free event and other details visit our website by clicking here.

If you would like to browse our camp guide or purchase a camp, click here.

Protein: Are you getting enough?

By Kent Bastell, MSc, CSCS Strength and Conditioning Coach

Nutrition is a hot topic in the world of fitness and we’ve reached a point in society where it has become hard to filter out the solid evidence based information from the “magic” diet and food revolution. What people fail to realise is that the real magic diet is the one that is flexible to your own personal needs and is sustainable as a lifelong habit. One such habit that may be beneficial is protein consumption.protein

A common question I ask athletes/clients is “how much protein are you eating?” After listing all the foods they typically consume in a day, we usually come to the conclusion: “not enough”

Why is protein important?

  1. Protein provides the building blocks for developing, growing, and maintaining almost every body system – Organs, hormones, muscles, bones, skin, enzymes, immune cells and neural messengers are just some of the systems that rely on protein.
  2. Protein builds and maintains our skeletal structures – For athletes and those who workout, protein is important for building muscle and bone (increases strength) and aids in recovery after activity. For general health, protein can slow muscle and bone loss due to aging (after age 30, people tend to lose 3% to 5% of their lean body mass per decade).
  3. Protein makes you feel full – Protein increases the demand of energy needed for digestion and suppresses hormones that drive the feelings of hunger. The thermic effect of protein digestion can be up to 20%, meaning your body uses up to 20% of the calories consumed by the protein source to digest it. These characteristics of protein help people maintain weight as it leaves less room for calorie dense foods.
  4. Protein increases energy – Protein is a foundation of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which help increase the feelings of energy and alertness.

So how much protein should you be getting to gain from these benefits of protein? In my own experience, I find that people benefit most from consuming 0.5 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for between 75 grams and 150 grams of protein per day. I tend to be a bit less conservative and try to get people to experiment with the higher end ranges, especially if they are athletes, or are weight training. To ensure you are getting enough protein, I always recommend using a food diary to track intake. The MyFitnessPal app is a great tool that contains a database of hundreds of thousands of different foods and brands. It will automatically calculate how much protein you have consumed from your diary inputs.

41 High-Protein Foods Ranked By Protein Content Per 100g

  1. Beef jerky 30-40g
  2. Parmesan 32g
  3. Tuna steak 32g
  4. Pumpkin seeds 30g
  5. Turkey 30g
  6. Peanuts 25-28g
  7. Edam 27g
  8. Canned tuna 25g
  9. Cheddar 25g
  10. Seitan 25g
  11. Beef 20-24g
  12. Chicken 24g
  13. Salmon 24g
  14. Stilton 24g
  15. Almonds 21g
  16. Sardines 21g
  17. Cod 20g
  18. Lamb 20g
  19. Mackerel 20g
  20. Pistachios 20g
  21. Pork loin 17-20g
  22. Tempeh 20g
  23. Cashew nuts 18g
  24. Mozzarella 18g
  25. Mussels 18g
  26. Chia seeds 17g
  27. Walnuts 15-17g
  28. Prawns 15-18g
  29. Quorn mince 14.5g
  30. Brazil nuts 14g
  31. Edamame beans 13g
  32. Eggs 13g
  33. Tofu 12g
  34. Cottage cheese 10g
  35. Greek yogurt 10g
  36. Oats 10g
  37. Lentils 7-9g
  38. Kidney beans 8g
  39. Chickpeas 7g
  40. Peas 6g
  41. Quinoa (cooked) 5g

Disclaimer: This is not to be used in place of medical advice. For any extreme changes in diet, it is suggested for individuals to get approval by an accredited physician or dietician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A day in the life of WinSport’s Early Explorer’s program: the birdhouse

One morning as we arrived at class we found a large pile of blocks and other materials on the table. Kinsey (our bird puppet) had a challenge for us, could we build him a home?

A student of WinSport's early childcare program, Early Explorers, builds a birdhouse.
A student of WinSport’s early childcare program, Early Explorers, builds a birdhouse.

We started to work, we drew plans, we built models and we talked about what we would make our birdhouse out of. Would it be made from wood? Would it be a nest? After a few weeks of planning and deliberation, we finally settled on building a birdhouse out of wood. Once we decided on wood, we ran into another problem! How would we attach all the pieces of wood together? One boy suggested using a hammer and nails. There, now we have a plan!

When we arrived the next week, we used all the wood scraps we could find to test out different designs. We experimented with how the pieces fit together and came up with several options for a birdhouse. We voted on our final design and got to work. Before we could put our plan into action, we had to learn tool safety. So, we sat together and came up with an agreement on how to be safe with our hammers. Remembering to keep space, watch where you’re hammering and only go one at a time, were among many of the suggestions on how we would keep everyone safe. Now we were ready! Each of us took turns to hammer in one nail at a time. It was hard work, but we kept at it and finally, we had a beautiful birdhouse for our friend Kinsey. Piper had an idea though – the bird house wasn’t finished because it needed to be decorated! We made a plan to paint it the following week and hang it outside.

Although it was a big undertaking, we all worked together to achieve a common goal. We also embraced taking a risk – we learned how to safely use a real tool. Allowing children to take risks builds them into capable and confident learners in their future. Using our muscles, motor skills and creativity, we learned so much building a bird house together.

A day in the life of WinSport’s Early Explorers program – The Beetle

WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment. The idea to create the program was inspired from WinSport’s legacy, which was formed by relentless, bold, and fearless individuals. The organization’s goal is to continue that legacy by creating the next generation of leaders – children who will make an impact and continue to inspire their community. The outdoor play component of our ECD program is complimented by the newly designed calm and nurturing indoor learning space. Below is an example of a learning story written by WinSport Early Childhood educator Brittany Caldwell.

As I sat beside a boy on a log, I noticed beside us sat a little beetle. I reached out and grabbed a stick to pick up the beetle. I showed the beetle to the boy and a big smile grew across his face. I asked him if he wanted to show the beetle to his friends. He nodded in agreement and grabbed my hand and guided me towards a small group of boys. The boys quickly gathered around the beetle and began to observe him.

WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment.
WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment.

“He is so big”

“Wow, look at his legs”

“I wonder if he is alive

We watched as the beetle began to crawl. All of a sudden one boy raised his boot and stomped right over the beetle. The other boys cried out, “stop!” The one boy began to inquire why he should care to not stomp on the beetle. Was it just a bug? Isn’t that what you did when you found a bug? You stomp on it!

Before I knew it the boys were divided into a deep debate about the beetle sitting before them. Should we stomp on it? Why or why not? One boy quietly engaged in the conversation and said “If you step on the beetle its life will be over, that’s it, no more for the beetle, and his family will be so sad.” I watched on as they poked and prodded and debated over how to treat this creature before them.

As global citizens we are often put in situations where we must work cohesively with others who may not share our values. Yet, we must get along. Learning how to respectfully disagree and work alongside each other is a life skill that we must carry with us. While only young preschoolers, these children were tackling topics that are debated in the adult world. What is the value of life, and how do we respect it? I have no idea what the right answer was – should we squish the beetle or not – yet I am sure that in our time with the beetle we learned more about the world around us than we ever could have sitting in a classroom.

 

 

Are we raising a generation of vampires?

By John Francis, WinSport Director – Marketing, Communications & Guest Services 

I was over at a friend’s house having coffee when his tween and teen kid’s and friends emerged from the basement, fresh off of a marathon gaming session. As the kids made their way upstairs, they shielded their eyes from the sunlight and avoided any opportunity to join us on the back deck. Instead they settled in on the couches in the family room, shutting the blinds so the sunlight did not pierce their sensitive eyes.

WinSport's new summer camps are designed to get kids off technology so they can develop a love for the outdoors.
WinSport’s new summer camps are designed to get kids off technology so they can develop a love for the outdoors.

Our discussion over coffee started to evolve and as a group of 40 somethings, we began to sound like our parents. Chatting about how kids are not getting outside, forgetting how to play and losing some of the essential skills that truly shaped our generation.

One parent did pipe up that our kids will have a much easier time controlling heavy duty equipment given their ability to manipulate joysticks. Another said scoring in hockey, soccer and other sports will go down as kid’s play first-person shooter games.

After a few more laughs we got back to our discussion. We all admitted some guilt on putting technology in front of our kids to get a couple minutes to prepare dinner, read an email or hop on a conference call. Some had strategies on limiting the time their kids played and working on finding a balance for both on and offline play.

Our discussion came full circle and we all agreed that our kids were certainly missing some of the fun play that we experienced as kids.

We quickly circled the table and each asked a question:

  • Has your child climbed a tree?
  • Has your child organized a pickup game of baseball or road hockey?
  • Have you ever looked at the stars with your kids?
  • Does your child know how to setup a tent?
  • Has your child made a mud pie?

As we went around the table, it was disappointing that the majority of us answered “no” to most of these questions.

Our conversation went back to asking ourselves how we can help our kid’s learn these skills, which we identified in three ways:

  • Be better role models – spend time with our kids offline and outside. Show them how we played growing up. Live in the moment and put down our phones.
  • Encourage our kids to get outdoors and get dirty – After a rainstorm, put on some rain boots and jump in puddles, play in the dirt and show it is ok to get dirty or get out in the cold and snow and build a snow fort, snowman or have an epic snowball fight
  • Find some great programs for our kid’s – most of us had our kid’s in organized sport. We all agreed that we need to find programs that encourage outdoor play that push their limits. Some talked about scouts and sleep-away camps. At that point, I was very excited to share the new programs our team at WinSport built.

I was able to share our new Wildhood camps which provides exposure to the outdoors across multiple ages. Kids can learn how to build shelters, purify water and start a fire. Our adventure camps have kid’s climbing rocks, trees and playing outdoors.

I encourage many of you to start the conversation with your family and friends and see how you can help your kids grow offline and outdoors.

For more information on WinSport’s new summer camps, visit: https://www.winsport.ca/lessonsprograms/summercamps.cfm

When should athletes start a training plan?

By Kent Bastell, MSc, CSCS Strength and Conditioning Coach

As a strength and conditioning coach, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had enquiries from athletes, or an athlete’s parent, about starting a training program when it’s only six weeks before the athlete’s competitive season starts. Most of the time the main goal of the athlete is to increase fitness or speed. But what people fail to realize is that physiology isn’t an instant process – it takes time. “Rome wasn’t built in 6 weeks”.

Kent Bastell is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at WinSport's Performance Training Centre. Kent’s sporting background includes playing varsity soccer for two years for GRPC in the ACAC division and seven years of soccer coaching experience at the U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 levels, earning gold and bronze provincial medals with his hometown of Peace River.
Kent Bastell is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at WinSport’s Performance Training Centre. Kent’s sporting background includes playing varsity soccer for two years for GRPC in the ACAC division and seven years of soccer coaching experience at the U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 levels, earning gold and bronze provincial medals with his hometown of Peace River.

Why do we train? The simple answer is that we are asking our body to adapt to some sort of stimulus (using weights, doing cardiovascular work, movement training, etc.). The human body is smart. When it is repetitively exposed to a stimulus it begins to respond by changing to better deal with its environment. How does it change? That is a few university classes worth of information, however, I’ll break it down into neurological adaptations (muscles coordinate better to produce movement), muscular morphological adaptations (increase in muscle mass), cardiovascular adaptations (heart can pump more blood per beat). The problem with adaptation is that it usually takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks of repetition for it to meaningfully occur. That means if you only allow time to train for 4-6 weeks, you can only pick from a limited number of adaptations to target. The other problem is that adaptations such as speed, usually require some foundational capabilities before it can be optimized.

Let’s think of training in simple, analogous terms. We are going to imagine a training program as a pumpkin pie recipe. As a strength coach, it’s my job to ensure we have the correct ingredients, correct amount of ingredients, that they are prepared and added in the proper order and lastly, to ensure it is baked for the right amount of time. Just like in baking, we create layers by which we build an athlete. Below is a simplified example of one of our training programs:

Pie Crust (foundation) – We begin with endurance and structural tolerance to ensure athletes move properly and have the work capacity to sustain training and competition

Pumpkin Filling – We try to build muscle mass and increase muscular/cardiovascular ability to handle a variety of more demanding loads

Whipped Cream – Once an athlete has work capacity and better muscular properties we can then train for max strength, speed and power.

An athlete who comes for a 6 week “speed” program is like saying you made a pie, but in the end only served a plate of whipped cream. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not a pie.

So, what does this all mean? Here’s our recommendations:

To give us enough time to build a proper athlete, a training program should ideally start in the off-season of sport. This means winter sport athletes should be training during spring, summer and fall months, while summer athletes should be training during the fall, winter and spring months. Once athletes are competing, the goal is to maintain the athletic characteristics they developed in off-season training. For optimal results and adaptation, it is recommended to train each muscle group at least two times per week. For some perspective, our elite WinSport Academy ski and snowboard teams train three times per week from June through to November and once per week from December to May.

If you’re interested in training, the WinSport Performance Training Centre (PTC) offers personal (1 on 1), small group (three to six athletes), or team training (seven or more athletes) all under the guidance and supervision of a certified strength and conditioning professional.

For more information or to set up a consultation with one of our coaches, please contact the PTC by calling 403-247-5405 or emailing train@winsport.ca

A day in the life of WinSport’s Early Childhood Development program – The Perfect Mud Cake

WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment. The idea to create the program was inspired from WinSport’s legacy, which was formed by relentless, bold, and fearless individuals. The organization’s goal is to continue that legacy by creating the next generation of leaders – children who will make an impact and continue to inspire their community. The outdoor play component of our ECD program is complimented by the newly designed calm and nurturing indoor learning space. Below is an example of a learning story written by WinSport Early Childhood educator Brittany Caldwell.

It was a warm Winter day and the snow was slushy and the dirt was peaking out. The draw of the mud, snow, buckets and shovel seemed strong. “E” found a large bucket of dirt and began mixing all the water she could find into the bucket. Using a small spoon, she had transformed the bucket from dry dirt, to a fabulous mixture. I offered her a rake to keep her mittens and sleeves dry and she turned the rake into a propeller for mixing. “A” joined in the mixing and claimed they were making batter to make a “Mud Cake.”

“We don’t want it to be too hard or too soft.”

“We need more water, we are putting dry stuff in it.”

“I gotta get more water, that’s what bakes the cake, so that’s the problem.”

“Snow is made of water, let’s add more snow.”

As we continued our work on our perfect mud batter, we finally reached a consistency that the girls agreed would make the perfect cake. Then the girls began to make their cakes. They worked on filling each pot. No matter how big or small. They made hot chocolate, muffins, heart cakes and more! Soon every dish in our mud kitchen was full of the perfect batter. We had found the best way to spend a warm winter afternoon. No matter what projects we develop and the fun we have, we can always rely on making mud to be the best way to spend a warm and wet day outside.

The way mud lures in the children is fascinating. It seems reliable for the Explorers’ – something they can always depend on. No matter the day, no matter the weather, no matter the mood, we can always rely on playing in the mud. Getting dirty seems to be the favorite outdoor activity and shouldn’t it be?

For more information on WinSport’s Early Explorers program, visit: https://www.winsport.ca/lessonsprograms/earlychildhood.cfm

How Can We Set your Kids up for Athletic Success?

There is an epidemic of kids quitting and dropping out of sport too early. According to a systematic review published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration by Tek Dangi and Peter Witt, two of the major reasons that kids quit are: 1) they have a self-perception of low physical competence and 2) they are getting injured. So how can we ensure our kids continue to participate and enjoy sport into their teenage years and beyond? By giving them the necessary tools to develop the skills that increase their competence and confidence to engage in physical activity and to prevent injury throughout their participation.

WinSport has programs designed for youth to help them develop a life-long love for sports.
WinSport’s youth programs are designed to help them develop a life-long love for sports.

Dr Avery Fagenbaum, a leading researcher in youth strength training, cites two types of skills that kids need to develop – as early in life as possible – to increase competence and confidence in physical activity:

Fundamental Movement Skills: Having the capacity to perform primal movements properly. Squats, lunges, pulling, pushing, twisting, bending, and gait (how a person walks or runs) are examples of primal movements that form the foundations for development of athletic skills such as balance, locomotor skills (running, jumping) and sport skills (catching, throwing, kicking).

Primal Muscular Strength: Having strength to perform the aforementioned functional movements against some sort of resistance (i.e. body weight). Being able to do a push-up, climb a jungle gym, or lifting something up from the ground would be considered primal strength development.

WinSport Recommends:

  1. Get kids involved in activity early

Activities such as gymnastics are great for giving your kids a head start in their functional movement capacity and coordination.

WinSport’s Sport FUNdamentals Camp (Ages 4-5) is a jumpstart to foundational movement and sport skills using games and activities, all under guided instruction. Click here for a full program description.

  1. Get kids involved in activities that have a multi-sport focus.

Kids should be playing at least 2-3 different sports until their mid-teens to reduce the number of overuse injuries and so they can develop a complete athletic skill set.

The Sports Skills Camp (Ages 6-8, 9-11, 12-15) offered at WinSport introduces kids to 3-4 different sports where they will learn the physical, technical, and tactical components of each. Click here for a full program description.

  1. Get kids in the gym to develop strength.

Our Sport Performance Camp (Ages 12-15) is a week-long curriculum focusing on mastering the physical, psychological, cognitive, tactical and technical aspects that are required for athletic excellence. Kids will develop leadership skills, be introduced to sport nutrition, hydration, visualization and goal setting while training at the Performance Training Centre (PTC) under the direction of our strength and conditioning coaches. Click here for a full program description.

Our Junior Athlete Development Program (Ages 9-12) is an 8-week weight-room focused program that explores age-appropriate resistance training and conditioning. This is a great sport education program for those not involved in organized sport or a supplemental “dryland” program for those who are. Click here for a full program description.

Another option is the Athlete Development Training Program (Ages 13-17). Upon meeting for an initial consult with one of our strength coaches, a customized strength and conditioning program will be created. The program is tailored to the individual’s performance goals and executed independently by the athlete under direct supervision on weekday afternoons in the PTC. Click here for a full program description.

For any program inquires please contact Sport Services at 403-247-5405 or by email at train@winsport.ca

Reach your fitness goals at WinSport’s Performance Training Centre

The Performance Training Centre (PTC) is a world-class sport training facility built in 2014 by sport visionaries who wanted to create a truly unique place to develop athletes. The centre is an athlete-centric gym and the training and equipment focuses on one concept – athlete development.

This means:

The performance training centre features best-in-class equipment equipment, indoor sport turf, squat racks, a running track along with strength and cardio classes and personal training. There are membership options that cater to all lifestyles.
The performance training centre features best-in-class equipment equipment, indoor sport turf, squat racks, a running track along with strength and cardio classes and personal training. There are membership options that cater to all lifestyles.

 

  • We provide every individual the opportunity to be “Better than yesterday”
  • We are a community of people that believe in hard work; not only when training but in life.
  • We believe everyone is an athlete
  • Everything we do supports training these athletes: the equipment, the daily training environment, the coaching staff, customer support and the programs and services
  • We directly train individuals, small groups and teams
  • We offer both public and athlete memberships for those looking to train in this type of environment and be around like-minded people
  • Our Philosophy; Performance by design, not chance

Here are some things you may not know we do:

  • Drop ins
  • 2-week trials
  • Punch passes
  • Personal training
  • Public strength and conditioning classes (included with our memberships) – “Train like an athlete”
  • Annual and monthly membership options
  • Junior Athlete Development programs (ages 9-12)
  • Athlete Development programs (ages 13-17)
  • Olympic lifting programs (ages 16+)
  • Adapted Strength and Conditioning programs
  • Sport specific training programs; hockey, football, rugby
  • Team training
  • Sport performance services including sport nutrition and mental performance coaching
  • On-site sport medical clinic via Group23 Sports Medicine
  • We offer discounts on 5-punch passes if your kids are in WinSport programs

We’re located in the Markin MacPhail Centre and are open seven days a week. Come visit our team who can take you for a tour and further explain the many features and great benifets of our gym. For more information, visit https://www.winsport.ca/performancetrainingcentre/ptchome.cfm

A day in the life at WinSport’s Early Childhood Development Program

WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment. The idea to create the program was inspired from WinSport’s legacy, which was formed by relentless, bold, and fearless individuals. The organization’s goal is to continue that legacy by creating the next generation of leaders – children who will make an impact and continue to inspire their community. The outdoor play component of our ECD program is complimented by the newly designed calm and nurturing indoor learning space in the Markin MacPhail Centre. Below is an example of a day in the life of a student written by WinSport Early Childhood educator Brittany Caldwell on Loose Parts and Outdoor Play.

WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment.
WinSport’s Early Explorers program – an early childhood development program for children ages three to five – builds the physical and cognitive development of children in an engaging indoor and outdoor environment.

This semester at Early Explores the children have been engaged with our loose part’s materials. While sheltering from the cold and warming up our fingers we are often drawn to making various play items from our collection of found and natural materials. One Thursday, one little boy wandered over to the carpet to begin building. He sat down and using a clothes pin, a craft stick, and a small wooden ring, he built a toy airplane. Puttering the airplane around, he drew the attention of several of his classmates. As more children joined he shared with his friend how he had created his new toy and began teaching all the children to build little airplanes of their own. Soon after, a game of airplane racers had erupted and the children were zooming around the class wielding there new creations with beaming smiles.

Loose parts by definition are: open-ended materials designed to ignite creativity, ingenuity and collaboration in children. When contrasted with traditional toys, loose parts provide more opportunity for deeper learner and more creative play. In the example of the children and their toy airplanes, by providing them with simple materials versus plastic airplanes, we were able to expand the moment to include more skills and an opportunity to express their creativity. The children practiced fine motor skills while building – they used communication and collaboration skills to teach each other the best methods for building, and they expanded there understanding of shape, line, and size by replicating airplanes in model form.

This play is not limited to indoor moments. We also often use loose parts on both small and large scales when playing outside. We forge men/ action figures out of sticks; we construct life size forts from logs and stumps, and we use loose parts to conducts experiments on how to slide the fastest. Most importantly, we use the loose parts to ignite a love of learning that extends beyond the walls of a classroom and into the outdoor world.

WinSport’s Early Explorers program is holding an open house so parents and children can explore the learning space and ask questions to facilitators. It takes place on February 20. Click here to register.