Wednesday, 29 October 2014


By Morgan

Over the last few years, you've seen us grow. You've read about the projects we've done (here, here and here) and seen guest posts highlighting the work of independent pop-up adventure playground organizers around the world.  Perhaps you've been moved to create your own pop-up adventure playground.  It's been a busy, thrilling time, and it seems clear now that the momentum for this new adventure play movement is growing daily.  This momentum really became clear to us last spring, on our 11,000 mile tour around the USA.

It was a busy and fascinating two months spent delivering workshops and playing out in parks, parking lots and schools.  Hosts in 16 towns from Massachusetts to California, Texas to Ohio showed us their sites, fed us at their kitchen tables, and shared stories about their work making positive changes in children's lives.

Again and again, people have asked us when the book was coming out.  People asked for something tangible and glossy to showcase the beauty of play, something full of persuasive detail to wave at skeptics during meetings.  People around the country all wanted the same thing – to learn more about other people doing thoughtful, dedicated work in support of play, to gain a sense of this movement that we all feel growing each day. So that's what we're providing.

The New Adventure Play Movement: USA is coming out this winter, and will be PACKED with images, interviews and anecdotes chosen to make any reader laugh through their tears.  There are exclusive interviews with Dr. Peter Gray (author of Free to Learn), and Joan Almon of the Alliance for Childhood.  You'll hear from people in all stages of adventure playground creation - from those delivering pop-ups to those with fixed and established sites.  Teachers, children's museums staff, parents and more are supporting children's free, risky, adventurous play from coast to coast, and sharing their experiences with you.  We're also including lots of resources to help you on your own journey, building community around play in your neighborhood... and maybe starting adventure playground of your own.

Jump on our mailing list here, and find out more about the other members of this new adventure playground movement.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reflections from the PDC: "Do you want to play hide and seek?"

By Zan

We can't quite believe it, but the Playworker Development Course has been going for over a year! Our course aims to provide tools to play advocates, and gives a chance to use the playwork approach. Since the start of the course, we have worked with over 60 students from all over the world. 

Here is a story shared by one of our students in the fourth cohort:
"I was thinking about play the other day while waiting for my lunch at a restaurant. Well, actually I was thinking about how easily kids seem to make friends and how play is a part of that. I was sitting in the restaurant alone and it occurred to me that the restaurant would be a fantastic place to play hide and seek. There were so many dark corners, tables, benches, booths, and half walls that would make excellent hiding places. There were a few other customers in the restaurant and some of them were by themselves. I was imagining what it would be like if we were all more like children and started a big game of hide and seek while waiting for our food. When my waitress did bring my lunch, I meant to say, “Thank you,” but I was so into my thoughts of hide and seek that I accidently said, “Do you want to play hide and seek?” I’m sure she thought I was completely nuts, but if we had been two kids playing that would have been a perfectly acceptable thing to say."  Chelsey Bahe, Assignment 11, PDC - also published in Ip Dip on 17th October 2014

I love this little reflection, and I'll be honest, I'm often in that position where I want to invite someone to have some fun, but am afraid what people might say in response to my question. But why should it be a problem? If Frozen taught us nothing else this year, it would be that the simple question of "Do you want to build a snowman?" should be responded to because invitations to play are harder to issue when you get older, and pretty disheartening when rejected.

So... do you want to play hide and seek? I'll count to 10 slowly.... 1... 2... 3...