Monday, August 10, 2009

Play Spaces

I stopped by the Museum on Saturday and walked by the Assembly Space, where Play Spaces - the day's program - was taking place. I was drawn into the room by some crazy, colorful creations and have just one word to describe what I saw: AWESOME! So of course I had to go grab the camera.

We tried out Play Spaces for the first time last summer and now run it semi-regularly. The big idea is to encourage open-ended exploration using cool materials - boxes, rope, hoops, tubes, dowels, sheets and more - much like the idea of building living room forts from blankets, chairs and couch cushions, as my sister and I did constantly when we were kids.

Miranda and Katie, the play guides facilitating the program on Saturday, told me the play spaces were the work of both parents and kids - sometimes with more involvement from parents, although sometimes the parents stepped away and the kids disappeared into their work - and that they saw a lot of intense inter-family and cross-family collaboration. While I was there, the children I saw were deeply involved in their play. Take a look at some of the results:

There are so many things I love about this program - the cool yet simple materials, the creativity, the sense of ownership the kids feel - but I especially love how the space is reinvented over and over again in such a short time, and that it becomes a collaborative effort.

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