Monday, 29 October 2018

Giving Tuesday 2018: Playworker Travelling Fund

By Zan

On 27th November 2018, as part of Giving Tuesday, Pop-Up Adventure Play will be raising money to fuel our newly launched Playworker Travelling Fund. This is an opportunity for us to gather the funds that will help playworkers travel to different communities and share their wisdom with other playful folk.

We hope, this Giving Tuesday, to be able to raise £500 (roughly $640 USD) so that cover the return expenses of one playworker, travelling to the country we work in the most: the USA. This is the same amount of money that each of team Pop-Ups is allowed to spend on their travel every time we go out on an excursion, so we know it is a number that works, and we hope that it is a number that we can raise to help a fellow playworker.

If we raise £500 on Giving Tuesday, we - Pop-Ups Morgan and Zan - each promise to dress up for an entire day as a robot. 

Yes, to thank you for your support on this particular fund-raising adventure, we will each be making our own robot outfits and wearing them for a whole day while going about our day. I, Pop-Ups Zan, am also taking requests on what should be included on my robot costume and what daily task I might need to tackle as a robot.

As a small disclaimer here - each member of the team can choose which date their Robot Day will be. They will each be solely responsible for their outfit, but can seek help from others if required e.g. during construction or assembly. Outfits will more than likely be made of cardboard and other loose parts as this fits in perfectly with the ethos of the organisation. Each Robot Day will be a minimum of 8 hours and will involve photos of each of us doing various things to evidence that we did in fact dress up like a robot for a day. I think that I - Pop-Ups Zan - am also willing to do short videos of my day if folks are willing to donate even more.

We are excited that we have this opportunity to raise funds to help our fellow play friends. It has been a struggle for us to fund our adventures over the past 10 years so we know first hand how hard it is to expand our own play knowledge and support others without the financial means to get there. We hope that our wonderful following of Pop-Ups Supporters will be able to help us to raise some funds so that the practical and theoretical knowledge of playwork can be spread to all corners of the world, starting with just one plane ticket.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Pop-Up Adventure Play community, on 27th November 2018, please help us to help people like you. #LetsSupportPlay #GivingTuesday

You can use this paypal link here to donate on 27th November. If you donate 10 GBP or more, Paypal will match fund your donation! Hoorah! If you have any questions, please feel free to email Suzanna on, or contact us by Facebook, Twitter, or using our website

Monday, 15 October 2018

Press Release: Second Playwork Campference brings international experts on children's play to discuss unconventional approaches to risk and inclusion


HOUSTON, TX: On a three acre site in West Houston, children ages 6 to 13, many with learning differences and communication delays, have constructed a three-acre homemade playground of their dreams. This past year marked a decade of growth and change for the site, which was founded in 2008 and was recently filmed by Alliance for Childhood for their exemplary practices. “Even people who already know about adventure playgrounds often don't know that Houston has one of the very best in the world,” says Morgan Leichter-Saxby of Pop-Up Adventure Play, a non-for-profit which provides training in Playwork practice. “We couldn't be happier to be partnering with Jill Wood and The Parish School to deliver this totally unique event.”

Since WW2, thousands of adventure playgrounds have provided opportunities for children’s self-directed play in the United Kingdom, Japan and Europe, providing children with space and tools such as hammers and nails.  Many sites include fire.  Until recently very few existed in North America, but this model has recently become popular with sites springing up in New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston. However, public reporting has frequently missed the question of Playwork, or the professional work of staffing these sites safely.

“Playwork is special” says Jill Wood, one of the two keynote speakers. “It's what makes adventure playgrounds function even more safely than other kinds of playgrounds”. Playwork, which can be studied at the University level in the UK, is an explicitly non-educational approach which emphasizes risk-benefit assessment and low-interventionist support methods. Studies have evidenced its strong therapeutic potential. However, no formal Playwork professional training programs currently exist in North America.

Pop-Up Adventure Play has been stepping into that gap, providing online training and the first Playwork Campference in 2017, which attracted 90 play advocates from 7 different countries. Participant feedback stated that "...campference was a completely unforgettable experience. Unlike other conferences where it is just info after info I felt able to really think and reflect and resonate on what I was learning." The first event was so well received that preparations for the second Playwork Campference are well underway, to happen on 15th-18th February 2019.

“Playwork is in the limelight right now,” says Suzanna Law of Pop-Up Adventure Play. “People in schools and parks and hospitals... we want to bring everyone together to talk about making a real change…. this is the only place to get it right now.” Ali Wood, playwork expert from the UK and co-author of Reflective Playwork: For All Who Work with Children, will be providing a final keynote on 18th February. A gathering on Saturday, 16th February, will be open to the public who are also welcome to tour the event’s art exhibition, entitled Reflections.

Campference participants will be camping on the adventure playground at The Parish School for the 4-day, 3 night event, a space that consists of three acres of grassland covered by child-made structures. They'll have full access to the site along with bonfires, Texas bbq, and lively discussions around children’s play.

The full press release is available here.

Registration Information and Contact Information
To register to please use this link here. Early bird rate of $395 USD (for a camping spot) and $325 USD (for a non-camping spot) will be ending on 31st October 2018. To discuss financial assistance options or if you have any further questions, please contact