A couple of weeks ago, Megan and I had an opportunity to put together a pop-up adventure playground in an empty activities room at the wonderful Marc Favreau library in la Petite-Patrie as part of the Festival Montreal joue over spring break. It turned out to be one of the funnest pop-ups we’ve done in ages!
We were nervous at first because we didn’t know what the turnout would be like, or if children would be interested in the kind of play environment we were providing during their visit to the library. The group ended up being very lively, with some children coming and going but with an excited core group that formed spontaneously and stayed for the full two hours we were there. Most of the kids were elementary school age and easily and confidently use the loose parts we provided. Some children used the loose parts to build things that were very concrete (i.e. building cars, houses, and creatures) from cardboard and other materials. Others ended up creating things that were more abstract and highly personal and unique. Other children too simply used the loose parts as they found them to do things like dress up Megan, create a catwalk for modeling, tape each other to walls and floors, and play hockey with cardboard tubes and balls of material. It was an incredible group in that it showed Megan and I so clearly how creative and engaged all children can be when given the opportunity to design their own play.