You’ve heard of pop-up shops, but what about pop-up playgrounds?
This is the concept behind GreenHere’s new initiative PLAYbynature. This program offers self-directed play opportunities for children by providing materials for kids to build their own pop-up playgrounds.
Materials for the pop-up playgrounds are not fancy. In fact, the best pop-up playgrounds are made from leftover lumber, spools, and rubber tires. With these basic materials and some “light” supervision (i.e. program staff make sure everyone stays safe but do not direct or instruct), the kids’ imaginations more than make up for any missing elements you might find in a typical park playground.
A driving philosophy behind PLAYbynature programming is that self-directed play provides children with the experience of making their own worlds, managing their own social learning, and developing a sense of self. Programming staff believe that the more outdoor play time for kids the better.
Earlier in the year, TAS teamed up with GreenHere to house materials for PLAYbynature’s pop-up playgrounds. It’s a great opportunity for us to put some underutilized space to good use, while contributing to this unique and valuable program.
Check out PLAYbynature’s website to learn more about the program, including how to find a pop-up playground event near you or volunteer for the program this summer.
Special thanks for assistance with this blog post from Jacob Levy, TAS’ volunteer researcher.