Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds

Doesn't this just make you want to go and play?

"On October 3, 2010 as representatives of the New York Coalition for Play, we brought giant cardboard tubes, string, swaths of bright fabric, boxes, a broken set of blinds and lots more to host a Pop-Up Adventure Playground at The Ultimate Block Party in New York City’s Central Park.  Some of the adults who came were a little skeptical at what they saw as the mess and chaos of the place, but children immediately understood that it was for them.

“You can do anything you want with anything here,” we said.  They gave one businesslike nod, then set to making a series of dens, thrones, obstacle courses and musical instruments.  They made new friends, and there, in the middle of the city, they made a beautiful ruckus.

Over the day the crowds of children ebbed and flowed, cardboard cities rose and then were felled by play earthquakes.  Play was tidal, following its own rhythms and signals, producing eddies of deep and rich play.  Within the 17 x 81 ft. Pop-Up Adventure Playground, children created a thousand tiny worlds."

I've been trolling around as I work on a resource book and report for the International Program SEED that I work with at Palo Alto College. I want to have one of these at my house (for grownups!).


Rest, play and work, from Martha Beck

This came along in an email newsletter from Martha Beck just at the right time.

Past experience has taught me that although we all have the same amount of time in one day of our lives, we can put a great deal of life in our days by re-establishing our natural rhythm. It's not about working harder, smarter or faster; it's about working in harmony. (Check out this month's telecourse below to get Terry and Susan's take on this issue)
The rhythm of our essential selves is like almost every other rhythm in nature. It has two phases which I call "rest" and "play." When you rest in harmony with your essential self, you feel as drowsy and contented as a cat in the sun. Right now, look back on a wonderful lazy day in your past. Maybe you were falling in love or you just finished a huge project. For some reason, you've given yourself permission to just goof off.
For the next ten minutes, give yourself that permission again. For me, it helps to pretend I'm in the company of "resting buddies." These are real people in my life with whom I've goofed off in the past. As I picture them, that energy of loving relaxation comes back easily. It can also help to be around an animal -- a horse, an iguana, or a dog -- who is just being.
As you stay connected with your essential self through rest, there will come a moment when something piques your interest. You will want to get up and investigate, or you'll be thrilled by the idea of exploring some area of your life - familiar or unfamiliar. (For me, this often takes the form of something I want to write.)

Hers is one of those newsletters I'm always happy to see in my inbox, and when I take the time to read it there is always a gem or two. Yes, sales pitches, too, but a girls gotta eat.

Here's what I did in my 10 minutes.

Stepped outside on the (windy) deck

Watched the wind play in the cedars

Thought about my blessings and made a gratitude list for the morning

Noticed the spring green and the blue sky

Filled up with the wild energy of the moving wind