Saturday, 27 January 2018

Popping Up in 2018

By Morgan

Where will we be this year?

As I write this, Suzanna and myself are both close to home. I'm teaching in Middlebury and she's keeping our social media a fire where others can warm up. I'm planning the first pop-up adventure playground in my own community for several years, and Suzanna will be running a series of play events courtesy of the Co-op Local Community Fund.

If you're not in Vermont or Manchester, however, there will still be chances to see us in person.

Morgan's Dates
End of March - MA and CT
Early April - Upstate NY

Suzanna's Dates
2nd June - 7th June - Hong Kong
8th June - 13th June - Singapore
14th June - 21st June - Malaysia

If you're in the above places and want to talk about a workshop or event, get in touch!  This is a great time of year to be planning training for summer staff, or outreach programs like screening of The Land.

Perhaps you're working in education, or a member of the PTA desperate to get more play into the school day?  Our new course is still open for registration, and provides a solid outline and case studies for anyone to implement loose parts play provision at recess or after-school.

Where ever you are in the world this year, keep on working hard to advocate for play. We'd be excited to meet up with you if we can but if not, get in touch - we're always happy to chat! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Check out Morgan's personal blog here. More on us can be found on facebooktwitterinstagram and our good ol' website

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Prioritizing Play Conference 2018: Registration Now Open

By Zan

In partnership with KOOP Adventure Play, we are pleased to announce that registration for the first ever Prioritizing Play Conference in Urbana, Illinois on 3rd-5th May is officially open. We've been working with Kelsey and Naomi of KOOP for a few years now, helping train them in the basics of playwork theory through the Playworker Development Course, and talking with them about what that means in practice. We know that between our two organisations, we have created an exciting opportunity for folks to get together and talk about play and playwork with keynote speakers Peter Gray and Pop-Ups very own Morgan Leichter-Saxby.
"Play is a necessity for children and youth. Yet with each passing year, the time, space and freedom children have allocated to self- directed play is infringed upon.  This May, those who work with children or are interested in play in their communities will gather to review why play is important, hear about the current movement towards prioritizing play and to learn about how the field of playwork is crucial in today's world."
You can register here, and some information is below. We look forward to seeing you there!


Date: 3rd-5th May 2018 
Location: Illini Union Hotel, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. 
Keynote Speakers: Peter Gray and Morgan Leichter-Saxby

Early Bird Rate: $350 USD
Full rate: $450 USD

Limited financial assistance is available. More information can be found here with more details to follow. If you have any questions please email

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New Pop-Up Year: New Pop-Up Tagline

By Morgan

There's a small thing that's irked us for ages. It's probably a common feeling to folks in playwork, given how we struggle to explain this work to outsiders. As an organization that positions itself as a kind of 'welcome mat' for adventurous play, we always wanted a tagline that felt right and reflected who we are. Finally, we've got a phrase we love. 

Play at the heart of communities.

Those communities may be personal or professional, in person or online, temporary or lasting the rest of our lives. We help weave play through existing communities, or building new communities around play. Wherever we work, children's play remains our top priority, the beating heart of all we do.

There's another phrase we wanted to share, as part of our excitement about the upcoming year. If a tagline is 'what we do', this is 'how we do it'. It's our intention, which we're setting carefully and sharing with you now.

In 2018 and beyond, we want to be your online play association.

This means a lot to us, and likely not much to you just yet. Most of the people we work with around the world have never had a local play association. These groups exist to support other initiatives, the ones doing work on the ground. Many UK play associations are struggling or have closed, but we're still drawing upon a long tradition of regional support for local play initiatives. Here's what we think a good local play association ought to be:

  • responsive, tailoring both approach and content
  • supportive, providing access to targeted resources
  • collaborative, linking people together and sharing ideas
  • positive, welcoming new members to the field and encouraging those who have been here for awhile
  • inclusive, working with people in schools, hospitals, parks, families and everywhere that children can be found.

That's what we've always tried to do, but we wanted a phrase that made it a bit more 'official'. We know what it's like to struggle, to search for information that seems hard to find, to feel alone. We feel honored to be serving new and practicing playworkers. Whether it's through resources, social media, online courses, or simply answering questions over email, we want to help you do the very best job you can, of improving the world for children's play.

To find out more about our work, check out our facebook, our twitter and our website