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New 'Interactive' Play Area in B.C. Mall Is Anything But

Actively discouraging active play

New 'Interactive' Play Area in B.C. Mall Is Anything But

Pity the parents in Surrey, B.C., who lost a perfectly good play area in Guildford Town Centre in exchange for a wall of iPads. How cutting edge! How incredibly misguided, I say.

Whoever was in charge of the fancy redevelopment (to the tune of $280 million) is guilty of a great big fail according to this mama. 

What once featured climbing structures, slides, and a carpeted 'camping' motif has been scrapped in favour of a colourful mural with a bunch of built-in iPads, so that kids won't have to fight over one or, heaven forbid, interact with each other. 

And yet the play park was touted, go figure, as just thatinteractive.

Needless to say, parents were up in arms about the new play area, with many promising on the GTC's Facebook page never to return, while others called for the old equipment to be reinstated.

"We are pleased to offer a quiet play environment for children," said a mall rep. "In our experience, providing slides and things for climbing leads to much more active play and can result in children being hurt."

Aha! Did you catch the key words in the previous statement? Hurt. Read: we're afraid of being sued. Quiet. Read: we don't want kids to behave like the healthy, active kids they're supposed to be. 

Now let me clarify, I don't think that iPads are the spawn of Satan. Screen time has its time and place, and can be educational and fun for kids. But a mall play area, in my opinion, is neither the time nor the place.

You tell me: what do you think of the new play area?
An amazing thing happened when these kids gave up their screens for a week.