Operation Explore dragonfly antlers kid cape kid stump kid map kid


July 1 - September 3

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It’s true! When kids are allowed to take the lead in play, they build their physical, emotional and cognitive abilities and they strengthen their executive function, critical-thinking, resiliency and confidence.

Operation Explore at TELUS Spark has Calgary’s largest outdoor playground and endless opportunities for independent discovery and exploration including Calgary’s newest Junkyard Playground.

Junkyard Playground

#YYC’s newest Junkyard Playground is a space that will let kids play the way they know best – with lots of fun, endless possibilities and a teaspoon of risk. Kids can build and take things apart using real tools like hammers and saws, all while exploring their limitless imaginations! This type of play might look a little messy – or maybe a little risky – but it’s important for growing brains!

Junkyard Playground is just for kids, but parents can stay close by to watch the adventure unfold. Our trained play facilitators will be in the Junkyard Playground to keep the space safe, but most importantly, inspire new types of play.

Kids must be wearing closed-toed shoes to enter the Junkyard Playground.

Daily at 11:00am – 4:00pm in the Brainasium


WonderMazeAll Day in the Brainasium

Get lost and found in the wonderment of TELUS Spark's exciting outdoor maze where kids are the key to opening doors to exciting adventures. Don’t get trapped! Not all of the doors will lead you out.

MazeWays(Starting July 8th) All Day in the Atrium

Kids under 9 can wander, wiggle, weave, twist and turn to find their way around our indoor maze.

GIANT Outdoor ScienceDaily at 11:30am & 4:45pm in the Brainasium*

TELUS Spark will be cranking our science experiments all the way up to 11! We’re launching sky-high bottle rockets, shooting out massive liquid nitrogen clouds, conducting a symphony of mentos & cola explosions and igniting smoke bombs! These spectacular science experiments are just a bit too BIG to do anywhere other than outdoors. *Weather permitting, programs change daily.

Social Eatery’s BBQ AdventureMondays 11:00am – 2:00pm in the Brainasium

None of the cooking with all of the yum! Let kids take the lead and explore our selection of meats and vegetables, make their own choices and enjoy a fresh condiment bar experience that runs the gamut from traditional to WOW!

Operation Explore is all about free play — building confidence, creativity and a stronger brain!

Come discover exciting outdoor summer activities for the whole family.

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Kids must be wearing closed-toed shoes to enter the Junkyard Playground.

What is free play?

  • Play is PLEASUREABLE. Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play.
  • Play is INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behaviour itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.
  • Play is PROCESS ORIENTED. When children play, the means are more important than the ends.
  • Play is FREELY CHOSEN. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play.
  • Play is ACTIVELY ENGAGED. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity.
  • Play is NON-LITERAL. It involves make-believe.

Source: White, R. E., Dr. (2012). The Power of Play.

How will my child benefit from free play?

Free play can help a child foster creativity and divergent problem-solving skills while strengthening executive function. Spontaneous free expression of a child's drive to play also builds physical, emotional and cognitive abilities.

Are parents allowed in the Junkyard Playground?

Junkyard Playground is just for kids, but adults can stay close by to watch the adventure unfold. A trained play facilitator will be in the Junkyard Playground to keep the space safe, but more importantly, inspire new types of play.

What age range is Operation Explore suitable for?

With varying activities, Operation Explore is suitable for kids of all ages. Let them discover things on their own terms. They can go at their own pace and be their own explorer.

How much does admission to Operation Explore cost?

Operation Explore is included with membership or admission.

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