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Pop-Up Adventure Play Days & Workshop

Wanna Play?  Then join us for any of these opportunities:

Led by Pop-Up Adventure Play and hosted by the Bernheim Children at Play Initiative

Portland Plays - stump constructionPOP-UP ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND DAY – Russell Lee Park – Louisville
Wednesday, February 26th from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

For families and children of all ages.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free.  In the playground adjacent to Southwick Community Center at 34th Street and Southern Ave. Dress for the outdoors. If weather demands it, we will move inside Southwick Community Center.

(Scroll down for more information about Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds)

Stacking stones - loose parts play

POP-UP ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND DAY – Bernheim Children’s Play Garden
Thursday, February 27th from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

For families and children of all ages.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free. In the Children’s Play Garden.  Signs will direct you to the event from the entrance. Dress for outdoor play.  If weather demands we will move inside the Education Center.

More Information:  Contact Claude Stephens at

Who is Pop-Up Adventure Play?

This non-profit group out of England is dedicated to creating opportunities for children to explore open-ended, hands-on, self-directed play throughout their lives and landscapes. At their free public events children of all ages explore, transform, create, and share ideas about the value of free play in the development of children.  Their events help you redefine play.  Their web site will tell you much more.

They are on a road trip through the U.S. and Louisville is one of the more than 20 cities on their tour.

Tell me more about free-play and self-directed play.

Free-play is what all play used to be before so much of our lives became scheduled and directed. Essentially, free-play is where children define what they want to do and how they want to do it. Play workers, adults that help guide the process and keep everyone safe, are on hand to encourage children into safely exploring lots of interesting materials or loose parts that are brought into the play environment for the children to use and explore.

Why is this important?

Because research shows that free-play helps children develop in different ways than through directed play.  Through free-play children become creative problem solvers.  Free-play is critical to the healthy development of children but it is increasingly absent from most play environments.

How can I learn more about all of this?

Good question.  Start by going to the Pop-Up Adventure Blog by clicking here and then looking for the blog link at the bottom of the page.

Pop-Up Adventure Play Workshop: The Amazing Benefits of Play
West End School on Wednesday, February 26th from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

A workshop for teachers, childcare professionals, parents and anyone with a stake in exploring the value of play in the development of children.

Led by Pop-Up Adventure Play and hosted by Bernheim’s Children at Play Initiative and West End School

Wednesday, February 26th from 6:00-8:30 p.m.
At the West End School – 3628 Virginia Ave., Louisville Kentucky
Registration required.  Contact Claude Stephens at
Cost: Sliding scale.  $0 – $25  Pay what you can afford.

Morgan copyWorkshop Leader – Morgan Leichter-Saxby, M.A.

Drawing on her experiences supporting play and delivering playwork training in a range of settings around the world, Morgan will help guide participants in discovering the value behind free-play and self-directed play.  Morgan has presented at more than a dozen international conferences and served as Keynote Speaker at the 2013 International Children’s Development Forum in Bogota.  She blogs at and was the 2012 Playwork Writer of the Year.  In October of 2013 Morgan was a keynote speaker at Bernheim’s Children at Play Conference.

Workshop Summary:
The Amazing Benefits of Play

This workshop focuses on providing a solid foundation to discuss play’s distinct qualities and benefits, emphasizing those related to wholechild learning, health and development. By clearly distinguishing children’s self-directed play from adult led activities, we will outline ways to support children’s processes without intervening, and explain simple and immediate ways to improve any environment for play. Working from a strong foundation in the adventure play movement and playwork, we offer a uniquely engaging and informative approach to the subject and we include time for participants to play!  This workshop is intended for a broad audience, including those whose only experience of play is limited.

This workshop includes:
● What we mean when we say ‘play’ - essential terms and definitions
● An invitation to play followed by group reflection
● Children’s need to play, and the landscape of children’s lives today
● Not ‘unstructured’, but ‘self structured’  - what makes children’s free play so special?
● The power of ‘yes’ risk/benefit assessments made simple
● Taking play home –  the basics of a playwork approach made applicable in any setting

We will send some of our time discussing next steps toward a stronger network of play advocates in our community.