Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Pod: bringing loose parts play to you

Have you heard about the Scrapstore Play Pod Project?  Or Pop Up Adventure Play?

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 These initiatives bring self-directed and unstructured play to children by travelling to schools and community spaces with a truck or container chock full of loose materials such as boxes, ropes and fabric and setting the kids loose.

With playgrounds so often sterile spaces with fixed equipment - and children's opportunities for free play under serious threat - creating a space where children are free to be authors of their own play is like a breathe of fresh air.

And now we have our own version in Australia called  "The Pod"
The Pod is a modified shipping container, or "pod", filled with high quality "loose parts" play materials. Clean, safe scrap, otherwise destined for landfill, is carefully selected and recycled for use in the Pod. This can include anything from old car tyres and steering wheels, to cardboard tubing, milk crates, used keyboards and telephones, fabric and dress-ups.
Imagine how much fun the kids would have at lunch time!   As a teacher at Beaumaris Primary School said:
''They just seem to be so pleased to be given permission to be creative and play, and to be free to be a child,'' she said. ''There's so much pressure for them to perform well academically, on top of all the extra-curricular activities … This is just freedom.''
I'll leave you with some images from a pop up playground in Costa Rica from Carolina at the wonderful Bellelli Educacion:

Pop Up Playground Costa Rica via Bellelli Educacion

Pop Up Playground via Bellelli Educacion

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