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Project Profile: North Shore Neighbourhood House

Known as being the heart of the community, the North Shore Neighbourhood House (NSNH) is host to a variety of programs and services for all ages, abilities and cultures. In particular, the not-for-profit registered charity offers more than a dozen daycare, preschool and before and after school care locations that care for hundreds of children each year in the North Vancouver area.

As with many fellow early childhood learning facilities and families, a shift to more natural play items began in 2007 when there was a large recall of imported toys due to lead content.

Parents became involved in the process through information sharing via newsletters and meetings so that they could understand and appreciate the switch to more natural play items. Quickly, the natural play concept with the inside play spaces moved to the outside thus initiating a removal of a plastic playground structure and creating a natural outdoor play space with gardens, sand, and more. At this time, Natural Pod was brought in to help integrate more natural play spaces.

“We are impressed by the larger tables – kids are at the same table doing different activities. We see a lot more relationships being built rather than when working at different stations . . . their paths are not going to cross. They interact together more than when working on multiple tables.“ – Lisa Hubbard, NSNH Executive Director