Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Big Thank You

By Zan

The indiegogo campaign that we set up to fund our Pop-Up Adventure Play and Special Guests Tour 2014 was a huge success. Although the site shows that we only got $4531, we had a not-so-secret donor in the form of playground builders, KaBOOM who took the final amount to $7031! I know that there were a few last minute donations who wanted a slice of the action. We know about you lovely people too :)

We would like to thank you all, whether you anonymously donated or freely shouted from the rooftops about your contribution. You have made a huge difference to our adventure.

And for those of you who contributed $10 or more, and wanted everyone to know you're part of this amazing tour, here is a homage to your greatness:

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Friday, 24 January 2014

Pop-Up Adventure Play Goes to the Beach!

We are thrilled to announce agreements with Sesame Workshop and Beaches Resorts to support child-directed play and learning at all three Beaches Luxury Included Resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos.

By Anna

Temperatures are dropping quickly at home in Boston, but it’s hot on the balcony of my room at the Beaches Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Not too hot - a perfect kind of heat. I am surrounded by a cocktail of sounds: ocean breeze mixed with the tap…tap…tap of a paddle on a ball, laughter, and the heavy bass of the music from the water park near the beach. A symphony best titled “fun”.

I am in Jamaica for work, but the work is to play. Pop-Up Adventure Play is thrilled to have signed agreements with Sesame Workshop and Beaches Resorts to enhance existing Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street activities with a child-directed approach to a range of experiences for children attending Sesame Camp and Youth Programming activities.

As part of this agreement, Beaches Resorts will also be running weekly Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds for children and their families at all three of their Luxury Included Caribbean resorts: Turks and Caicos, as well as Negril and Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

Downtime is one of the essential prerequisites to child-directed play and, at Beaches, we have the unique opportunity to support child-directed play when children are already on vacation. Likely leaving behind a rigorous schedule of school, sports, lessons, and homework, children arrive at Beaches to explore the water and the sand, two of the best loose parts (or open-ended materials) of the Earth. The sense of freedom is obvious in the peals of laughter - kids run free along the sand and splash into the sea. They wander the paths that cross this way and that…there isn’t only one right way to go.

First Pop-Up Adventure Playground at Beaches Turks and Caicos

My friend and former Sesame Workshop colleague Peter van Roden, currently VP of Themed Entertainment, contacted me last summer about this opportunity to train staff across all camp and youth programming. Peter intuitively understands and wholeheartedly supports the unique importance of child-directed play for all children. He and the Sesame Street Education team have not only made the work possible, but also directly supported play at the resorts in hands-on ways. They have been on site for both trainings we’ve run thus far and have been instrumental in gathering loose parts for play (everything from hundreds of rolls of brightly colored Duct tape to dried palms we collected on the resort grounds).

In Negril, kids find that dried travelers palm makes great airplane wings!

At all Beaches Resorts trainings, my Pop-Up colleague Morgan Leichter-Saxby and I have adapted our Pop-Up Adventure Play Training Model for the specific context of the Beaches camps and youth programs. As always, Morgan and I first engage adults in their own process of self-directed play with loose parts and then build towards essential practices staff can use to support child-directed play. Our training merges playwork practices with child-centered approaches to teaching and learning.

This new agreement forms a trifecta: Beaches brings the gift of downtime at natural playgrounds on Caribbean beaches, Sesame brings fun, fur, and learning, and Pop-Up Adventure Play brings years of expertise in play support for children of all ages and their adults.

We are very excited and there is more to come! Stay tuned for further info and more photos of our Pop-Up work in the Caribbean!

Beaches camp staff find excellent innovative use for dolly at Turks and Caicos.

Press release at:
Beaches Resorts Celebrating 10 Years with Sesame Workshop

Friday, 10 January 2014

Driving to Success

By Zan

I'm writing today to update you on the Pop-Up Adventure Play and Special Guests Tour 2014, and also to tell you about our Indiegogo campaign. I'm going to make use of some driving puns to help me along the way too. I might spin my wheels a little so I apologise in advance.

So let's get us up to speed - Pop-Up Adventure Play are going on an amazing road-trip to take Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds and workshops across the USA. We hope to get community members to change lanes around child-directed play. The tour will also feature some amazing Special Guests who will be taking the driving seat for specialist subjects too: more on that at a later date.

Since first flashing the headlights on the tour in October, so many things have happened. We went from having a few expressions of interest, to now confirming our 12th location! We have had such a positive response to our adventure that everyone wants to come along for the ride. I am beaming as I applaud the wonderful people who have put time and effort into hosting us. I cannot wait to meet the hosts so that I can thank them in person for helping us with our journey. The list of locations can be found right here on the blog, and will constantly be updated as new information about events come through.

With all this talk about roadtripping, we've not yet mentioned our vehicle. We have taken it up a gear and have launched an Indiegogo campaign which will help us fund the vehicle that we will be driving on our big adventure. As I write, the contributions have made it to just over $2400, which is absolutely amazing! We have been quite overwhelmed by the amount of people have shown support to our little organisation and are super super thankful. On behalf of Pop-Up Adventure Play, I'd like to thank the amazing donors who have given our campaign a jump start. You are helping the campaign cruise along, and making us realise every day how many wonderfully generous people are out there.

And now for a little appeal from me to you. Ladies and gentlemen, we still have quite a long way to go before realising out modest target of $7000 and the project is in danger of stalling. Please, if you can, donate towards our big adventure; our organisation. A little bit goes a long way, and will help us to literally keep us fuelled for the journey. The great news about your donation is that every dollar that you donate towards the campaign from now until it finishes on Sunday will be doubled. The great people at KaBOOM! has given us go faster stripes, and have pledged to match dollar for dollar until the end of the campaign. How amazing is that!

Keep us on the road and pave the way towards our success by donating a few dollars our way so that we can give more children across the USA the opportunity for child-directed play.

For more from Zan, please visit her personal blog. For more from Pop-Up Adventure Play, please visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.