What inspires your child to play? Here in Wetaskiwin, it might well be CHIPS!
Or more specifically, the Children’s Indoor Play Society, a parent-supervised play group that provides everything from balls and bikes to a bouncy castle for active play, inside.
Founded 34 years ago by local parents looking for fun, healthy play opportunities when weather doesn’t let children be outside, CHIPS moved to the Wetaskiwin Mall several years ago from its previous community hall location.
Through memberships, donations and event rentals, the not-for-profit, volunteer-run society maintains an exciting range of toys and activities for children from birth to age 10.
“Everything a kid could dream of playing with is there,” says Brandy Pfeil, Promotions Coordinator for the Westaskiwin Mall.
The move to the mall has allowed CHIPS members to have their own space and greater flexibility, and having the families part of the mall community is a great fit, Pfeil says.
“They’ve been a really important part of our community for over 30 years now, and as a community centre, we love having them here.”
CHIPS schedules regular play times on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and alternating Fridays from September to May, and occasionally during the summer when weather prohibits outdoor activity, Pfeil says. Different theme events keep things fun, while informative guests also share valuable information on different topics.
Memberships are $40 per year per child, to a maximum of $200 – great value for those looking for a regular play opportunity for their children, not to mention a good opportunity to connect with other parents.
Drop-ins are also available at $7 per child, and area daycares will also visit as part of their regular routines.
With spring’s arrival, CHIPS’ year-end party is also coming up May 31 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. In addition to the usual toys and activities, families will have a blast with Chicken John’s Petting Zoo, glitter tattoos, play dough and more, and can sign up for the coming year!
Your party place
If you’re planning a birthday party and need a place to play, this is it – simply contact CHIPS and ask about renting the space and toys, and let the kids have a cake-fuelled blast!