Pop-Up Adventure Playground at the Ultimate Block Party

UPDATE:  Since this post, Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds has developed into an on-going, non-profit project – called Pop-Up Adventure Play!  We are organizing events in Boston, New York City and Rochester, NY, and are supporting independent Pop-Up Adventure Playground organizers in New Haven, Anchorage, Brooklyn – and Costa Rica!

For more information, to support or donate: www.popupadventureplay.org.



We had an amazing time on the weekend, and gathered a few pictures to get a flavor of the event and what we mean when we talk about Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds.

We’ve been calling these ‘Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds’, because they draw on the long and glorious tradition of Adventure Playgrounds – places where children can build, demolish, paint, imagine and play as they please.  The role of playworking adults is to support the children and to protect the space from adult-led agendas.

Pop-Ups demonstrate that the spirit of these places can be conjured up in all kinds of locations, with the cheapest of scrounged materials, and develop magical spirits all their own.  All that is required is the ‘stuff’ (loose materials that can be easily manipulated through play) and ‘staff’ (trained and supportive adults who respect play on its own terms).

It was thrilling, as always, to see how the children took ownership of the materials and constructed, dismantled and constructed anew inventive and brilliant places for play.

Our little section got written up here, by Cheretta Stewart, a blogger who is a tremendous advocate of children’s play, and an all-around pleasure to meet.  She’s got some more pictures up there – particularly of the long tunnel her kids built.


7 thoughts on “Pop-Up Adventure Playground at the Ultimate Block Party

  1. That sounds wonderful!

    Those tubes were our favorite coup – we actually found them in a skip full of cardboard scrap at the event’s loading dock. I scrambled up and threw them down to Sharon. One of the last, and older, kids there made a logroll out of them and pushed herself along with a length of wood! We got the coffee sacks from a market and the wooden boxes from a wine shop – it’s amazing what people will donate, and be thrilled to do it.

    Your children do beautiful things with their loose parts – it looks like a tremendous preschool, and a gorgeous site. It’s a wonderful resource for loose parts inspiration.

    I never asked – where are you based?

  2. Yes we had a ball!!! the weather is changing so I wonder whats in store for the snow….(I’m extra excited). You know That fallin tree in my back yard I told you about? Well, we’ve decided to turn it into a makeshift tree house! Hey , we have to at least try it!

    1. That sounds awesome – I’ve never seen a land-tree-house, so you’ll have to send me a picture!

      There are some great pictures of your kids’ den from the day, and I loved the way you called out that one Mum who was trying to leave before her son was ready, saying “C’mon, Mom! Don’t you remember making blanket forts?” Fantastic advocacy there.

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