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Centre offers kids a chance to stay and play

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Spring is here, and for parents with young children that means it’s time to lace up their walking shoes and dust off those strollers. Fortunately, there are a lot of family-friendly things to do in Windsor Park.

The newly renovated Winakwa Community Centre at 980 Winakwa Rd. is home to a variety of sports and other programs including Stay & Play, a parent-run playgroup for children up to the age of five that meets Friday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

The large play area features a play structure for toddlers, bikes, and lots of toys. There are crafts, sing-alongs, and games. Parents are asked to please bring a peanut-free snack for their child, and coffee is available for the grown-ups. The drop-in fee is $3.

Make sure you stop in soon. The Stay & Play group winds up for the season on June 22 with a special party featuring an inflatable bouncer/slide and other surprises.

For more information on the Stay & Play group, or if you’re interested in attending the wind-up party, contact Lauren at 282-3528 or by email at

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The Frontenac School Family Centre is another great resource for families with young children. Located in the Frontenac School at 866 Autumnwood Dr., the centre is sponsored by the Louis Riel School Division and the St. Boniface/St. Vital Parent-Child Coalitions, in association with Healthy Child Manitoba.

According to centre co-ordinator Candyce Jones, current research suggests an important link between brain development in the first few years of life and a child’s physical and social-emotional health, as well as impacting intellectual development.  This free program offers a wide range of educational and fun learning opportunities for preschoolers.

The centre is open most mornings from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. on school days for parents and their children to drop in and enjoy the many toys, books, and games available.

Baby Play Days take place Tuesday afternoons from 12:45 to 3 p.m. and are for families with children aged newborn to toddler. Parents can get a chance to meet with other moms and dads, take part in discussion groups, and just have a fun time with their child. Older siblings are welcome too.

For parents of children entering kindergarten next fall, the Frontenac School Family Centre is also offering a Ready for School program which runs for six weeks on Monday and Thursday afternoons from April 30 to June 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. The program provides opportunities for your child to see what it’s like going to "big" school by interacting with other same-aged children and learning valuable skills like sharing, co-operation, and following directions.

For more information on the Ready for School program, Baby Play Days, or any of the other programs and services offered by the Frontenac School Family Centre contact Jones at 257-0609 or by email

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Although it reopened to the public last September, Winakwa Community Centre is pleased to announce its official grand opening will take place Fri., April 20 at 1p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend, and refreshments will be available.

All three levels of government will be represented at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the centre will be open for the public to look around and check out the club’s exciting new facilities. Hope to see you there!

Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at

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