On August 16th, Hello Sandbox opened up The World’s Largest Sandbox, raising money and awareness for kid’s mental health.  

Located at Second Beach in Stanley Park and open to the public, the sandbox served as a community space where people could come out, have fun, and learn more about mental health and how the issue affects all of us – all in an engaging and non-intimidating fashion. The goal was to encourage Vancouver to better understand the importance of building positive mental health and create a safe space, right out in the open, where children could see that their community stands behind them – no matter what challenges they face.

The World’s Largest Sandbox, measuring 40 feet across, was filled with hundreds of kids playing in it all day, as talks on the importance of play and building positive mental health went on around them. Kids were taught the importance of self-discovery through play, while parents were taught the importance of giving their kids free-time and what to look for in their children’s development.

There was kid’s yoga by lululemon, helping instil the importance of both physical and mental health, a bouncy castle, and face painting. Starbucks and HappyWater brought refreshments to beat the heat and some of the world's leading experts in childhood development came to teach parents how to raise a community of strong, resilient and happy children.

The event went on to serve thousands of people from the community and help teach hundreds of kids the importance of mental health, all while raising thousands of dollars for the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and Variety The Children’s Charity.

This approach to mental health, while unconventional by some standards, ultimately helped lower the barriers to the community engaging in mental health and helped them realize that mental health means more than just mental illness.

Check out some of the images from the day: