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Imagination Playground throws a BLOCK party at Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play

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September 23, 2013 in Play Events

by communitymanager

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Imagination Playground visited Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play in Prospect Park.

Imagination Playground threw a BLOCK party this weekend at Nickelodeon’s 10th Annual Worldwide Day of Play in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. More than 50,000 children and their families were in attendance at the event, which promoted wellness and exercise through play.

A special thanks to the folks from the Association of Children’s Museums, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Long Island Children’s Museum, and Manhattan Children’s Museum for their continuing efforts in spreading play to children!

Check out our photos from the event to see which Nickelodeon star stopped by Imagination Playground to play with kids!

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2 minds are greater than 1!

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Amber Montana from Nickelodeon’s “Haunted Hathaways” stopped by to lend a hand and some imagination!

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Photos, courtesy of Jensen Rong.

imagination playground at children’s day 2013 in South Korea

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May 28, 2013 in Play Events

by communitymanager

ImaginationPlayground_Children'sDay2013

Earlier this month Imagination Playground was part of a special Children’s Day 2013 celebration at Cheongju EDUPIA, a children’s play and educational center in Cheongju, South Korea. The annual holiday that takes place on May 5th, celebrates children across the country and was started as a way to show love and respect for the nation’s future.

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Complete with gifts, food, and fun family outings, Children’s Day holds the same excitement for the younger generation that birthdays or Christmas bring to those in other parts of the world. This year Cheongju EDUPIA showcased the Imagination Playground Block Sets as part of their festivities celebrating the national holiday.

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Our friends and partners in South Korea sent over photos of the Imagination Playground area set up for children at the Cheongju EDUPIA center

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and captured some excellent building activity by several area kindergarten groups that were in attendance…

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Cheongju EDUPIA_courtesy of www.cjedupia.co.kr

 

 

 

More about Cheongju EDUPIA –
Located in Cheongju, South Korea the Cheongju EDUPIA is a children’s play and educational center operated by the city of Cheongju. Growing in popularity throughout South Korea, the facility is one of several across the country that provides a range of creative classes and play events for nearby preschools and kindergartens to bring their students on special sessions and day trips.  www.cjedupia.co.kr

imagination playground at bay area discovery museum & 92Y

April was a busy one for Imagination Playground Play Dates with block play happening on opposite ends of the US.

Joining our friends on the West Coast on April 19-20, the Imagination Playground team crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to charming Sausalito, home of the Bay Area Discovery Museum. As a fellow advocate of child-directed play the Museum has been long-running proponents of the blocks, having a set of their own as well as hosting the launch of Imagination Playground’s new Add-on Sets this past fall.

In the course of two days, over 200 children and adults joined in on the play sessions that were held in the Museum’s grounds outside. Recognized as the only children’s museum in a national park, the Bay Area Discovery Museum was a perfect fit for the first outdoor Imagination Playground Play Date of the season. Drawing inspiration from the unconfined space, children worked together to build the blocks into a system of catapults to creatively launch the smaller blocks in the set.

 

Meanwhile on the East Coast, the Imagination Playground Team returned on April 20th to the 92nd St Y in New York City. Families already familiar with the world-class nonprofit community and cultural center and it’s many offerings were quick to embrace the block play sessions that started early Saturday morning in the penthouse racquetball courts.

The first sessions saw a younger set of children ages 9 months to 5 years, with playful parents who helped in piecing together the blocks and loose parts to form a range of whimsical structures.

As the day continued the second and third play sessions brought older attendees, who wasted no time in building with the Imagination Playground blocks. Naturally breaking into small teams throughout different sections of the play space, the children worked together to create a variety of imaginative arrangements out of the blocks and loose parts.

Creations ranged from a house with furniture for visitors, to an elaborate suspension-style bridge that spanned across the racquetball court and allowed other children to run back and forth underneath, to a basketball hoop that propped against the high walls for successful dunking of the balls included in the Imagination Playground Classic Set, and a large firetruck complete with seats and a noodle hose to spray nearby parents!

In all the weekend was a great success for both coasts. A special thank you to both the Bay Area Discovery Museum and 92nd St Y teams for being such generous hosts of the Imagination Playground Play Date events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to hear more about Imagination Playground Play Dates and stay in the know on upcoming events?
Email us at contactus@imaginationplayground.com and join us on Facebook.

Also, stay tuned for more to come on Imagination Playground’s recent Play Date at Kohl Children’s Museum!

imagination playground at betsy head park


We’re excited to announce that  the second site-specific Imagination Playground park will arrive in 2015! NYC Parks and Rockwell Group joined neighborhood children to unveil the design of the new playground in Brooklyn. At the event, a classic set of blocks was donated to the Brownsville Recreation Center to encourage free play and creativity prior to the opening.

The project will reconstruct part of Betsy Head Park, transforming the existing rectilinear, asphalt-covered site into a grassy park with meandering paths and play areas for both children and adults alike. Inspired by tree houses, the park will include a multi-level space with water, sand, and the blue blocks surrounded by a long, curving play ramp that weaves through the trees and is bridged by permanent play equipment; renovated basketball and handball courts; and an exercise area for adults.

The playground is anticipated to begin its construction in the spring of 2014 and open in the spring of 2015.

Check out the buzz:

While this may sound like the standard procedure for a new neighborhood recreation area, the event was anything but typical. The Rockwell Group showcased its model for a revolutionary vision in playground design: one that encourages child-directed, unstructured free play. And from the sounds of loud, excited cheers in the front row, we think the kids loved it! -Architizer

 New Imagination Playground to Open at Betsy Head Park, TimeOut New York Kids

Design for tree house-inspired ‘Imagination Playground’ unveiled for Brownsville, NY Post

 

Imagination Playground play events popping up across the US

 

February kicked off several Imagination Playground Playdates, on-going in select cities throughout the US. Starting with NYC’s 92nd Street Y on February 3rd, Imagination Playground participated in the Countdown to Camps event.

      

Our big blue blocks were out on the penthouse racquetball court. The clear open space and high white walls were a clean canvas for free play. Parents and children searching for a summer camp were invited to get a taste of the indoor and outdoor activities at 92Y Camp Yomi. Children delighted in building whimsical castles, forts, thrones, and cannons with the blocks. At the completion of the event, an Imagination Playground in a Cart set was donated to the 92nd Street Y.

On February 24th, Imagination Playground returned to the community center as special guests at the 92Y Bronfman Center’s Purim Carnival. Dressed in costume, children attending the event celebrated the Jewish holiday of Purim by hearing stories about the history. They also had the chance to build with the blocks and loose parts, using their imaginations to recreate their favorite parts of the story and constructing tunnels, temples, groggers and more.

 

    
Purim is commemorated with costumes, masquerades and carnivals.


Our Spring Playdates began on March 15th and 16th in a collaboration with Washington, D.C.’s National Building Museum. Over the course of two days, 140 parents, educators and children joined the unique Imagination Playground play sessions in the Museum’s educational rooms. The event space was directly across from the hugely popular PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit.

The playdates weren’t only for the children. Parents and educators were able to further learn about the benefits of free play, and connect with Imagination Playground President, David Krishock, and his team.

Continuing partnerships with area children’s museums and organizations, Imagination Playground is bringing block play to a neighborhood near you.

Here is where we are headed next:

Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview, IL – March 21-23
Bay Area Discovery Museum, San Francisco CA  – April 19-20
92nd Street Y, New York NY  – April 20

We will also be participating in the following conferences:

10th Annual Young Child Expo & Conference 2013, New York, NY – April 19
Association of Children’s Museums Annual Conference 2013, Pittsburgh, PA – May 1-2

 

Want to know more about Imagination Playground Playdates and stay in the loop on upcoming events?

Email us at contactus@imaginationplayground.com, and join us on Facebook.

Imagination Playground at the Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans

From Thursday, January 31st – Saturday, February 2nd, Imagination Playground joined Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans  for several play events leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. The Museum’s campaign Places to Play explores the role of play in developing lifelong healthy habits for the city’s youngest residents, as well as combining play education with access to safe, creative play spaces.

During Thursday’s launch, the Louisiana Children’s Museum introduced their first Imagination Playground to the local New Orleans community. Children invited from Kingsley House Head Start and Early Head Start Preschool and Abeona House Child Discovery Center were eager to build with the new Imagination Playground blocks.

          

Showing their support, Dr. Karen DeSalvo (commissioner of New Orleans Health Department) and Laverne Saulny (Regional Manager for US Senator Mary Landrieu) were in attendance and spoke at a press conference during the event. The Imagination Playground and Rockwell Group team also led three Play Associate training sessions, walking through various dimensions of block play and child-directed free play, and preparing the Louisiana Children’s Museum team for many more successful play sessions to come.

Friday was another full day of active play at LCM. Staff tested their new skills as Play Associates, facilitating play as young visitors built furniture, buildings, a bus (complete with noodle seat belts!), curved pathways, and more with the blocks and loose parts.

The week’s events concluded in the “New Orleans Super Saturday of Service”, a co-sponsored event between the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Fit NOLA, the White House’s Let’s Move!, and NFL Play 60.  Promoting play in building healthy communities, the day provided improvements and renovations to five of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission’s playgrounds. Imagination Playground was at the Lyons Field location, one of the five play spaces restored by the initiative. During an unveiling ceremony with Dr. Karen DeSalvo and council member LaToya Cantrell’s representative Mason Harrison, Imagination Playground and Louisiana Children’s Museum donated a second play set to the city for public use. As soon as the blocks were unpacked, families and children were quick to begin the fun, having a blast while building a variety of imaginative structures.

In speaking about Places to Play, Julia Bland CEO of the LCM, explained “We recognize that childhood obesity will not be eliminated until children and families are aware of their health habits and can turn that awareness into behavioral changes with daily exercise and activity – as individuals or as a family. Offering our four-year-olds a chance to share their ‘play places,’ and documenting the experience through their artwork, stories and photography, will help increase awareness and active lifestyles.”

To read more on the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s Places to Play in New Orleans initiative, visit the Let’s Move! blog >>

Imagination Playground arrives in South Salt Lake

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January 10, 2013 in Play Events, United States

by communitymanager

Thanks to a grant by KaBOOM! & Walt Disney Company, attendees at the South Salt Lake Breakfast with Santa were the first to check out their new Imagination Playground blocks. In an unveiling on December 1, 2012, children excitedly flocked to the new Imagination Playground In a Cart™ wrapped up and disguised as holiday gifts.

The blocks and loose parts were an instant favorite among the hundreds of area families and city staff who came to the event at The Columbus Center. While watching her two children play with the Imagination Playground parts, parent and area resident Heidi Rogers commented, “I think it is great. My kids love it. They’re having fun. It seems to entertain a wide range of ages.”

A press release by the City of South Salt Lake indicated that a host of indoor and outdoor events/play dates were already in the works, with “hopes to reach every one of the 2,458 youth in the community with this exciting new playground.” The new Imagination Playground sets will be located in the three South Salt Lake city-owned Community Learning Centers and rotated through the six other Learning Centers owned/operated by their community partners.

“This is a present for every child in South Salt Lake, the first and only of its kind in Utah,”  in an interview with the South Salt Lake Journal, said the city Mayor’s Office spokesperson, Ashley Babbitt,  “We’re so excited for the children to open the gift and start playing. Our youth will be able to free their imaginations with this playground. It helps promote the power of play.”

To read more & see pictures of the event: www.southsaltlakejournal.com & www.deseretnews.com

For information on the South Salt Lake area Imagination Playground, contact: Ashley Babbitt at ababbitt@southsaltlakecity.com

 

Images courtesy of desertnews.com

Opening of National Building Museum’s PLAY.WORK.BUILD.

Since its opening almost three weeks ago, PLAY WORK BUILD has been a success among adults and children alike. The National Building Museum teamed up with Imagination Playground to showcase the Museum’s unique Architectural Toy Collection alongside hands-on block play. The family-friendly exhibition invites visitors of all ages to nurture their inner architect skills through Rockwell Group’s specially designed Imagination Playground installation and an original digital interactive.

Students from D.C.’s Two Rivers Public Charter School delighted in building mini constructions, collaborating together on the Imagination Playground 3-D wall, and knocking virtual blocks down. The school has been a great supporter of Imagination Playground since receiving its Imagination Playground in a Box courtesy of a grant from KaBOOM! in 2009. Two Rivers educator, Kathleen Kennedy told USA Today, “There are no steps here. … When you’re playing a computer game, there’s an answer, but with blocks you have to figure it out as you go along.”

Students from the Two Rivers Public Charter School play with Imagination Playground blocks and the digital block wall in the National Building Museum’s exhibition PLAY WORK BUILD. Photos by Kevin Allen.

Check out what others have to say about the exhibition…

Play Work Build chronicles the history of active play in the most appropriate way possible: by asking visitors to actually play the games. –Fast Company’s Co.Design

Collaborative activity, physical movement, and no resemblance to a typical playground are the three major themes of this endeavor, whether it be on a big a scale as the one at the Building Museum or the portable version of these blocks made for schools and camps. –Curbed DC

PLAY WORK BUILD is both an extension and an elaboration on one of the museum’s primary missions, to introduce children to the building process. The second-floor gallery is now overrun by thousands of pieces of blue foam, some sized for building models and some sized to build forts. –The Washington Post On Parenting

Play Work Build will be open at the National Building Museum through 2014, so stop by and experience it for yourself! Do you have some excellent images of your block building day? Don’t forget to share your photos with the National Building Museum and Imagination Playground on Twitter and Instagram by hashtagging #blocktastic  – we would love to hear from you.

Imagination Playground on social media

 

From our website and community here to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and now Instagram, you can choose your favorite ways to join the Imagination Playground family and stay in the know.

See the latest on-goings & events, articles, multimedia, and more. Be part of the discussion by sharing your experiences with the playground and exchanging new ideas about open-ended play and child development.

We hope to hear from you!

 

         

National Building Museum’s exhibition PLAY.WORK.BUILD.

On November 18th, the National Building Museum and Imagination Playground will present PLAY.WORK.BUILD. – an interactive exhibition combining the Museum’s unique architectural toy collection with hands-on block play. Designed by Rockwell Group, the exhibition will explore connections between early examples of imaginative play and its modern day interpretations.  Vintage toys on display from the Museum’s vast collection range from the Original Froebel® Blocks, early Erector sets to Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs®.

Families will be able to test their building skills in a variety of scales. One gallery will feature tables of foam blocks in different shapes and sizes, and in the following gallery, hundreds of large-scale blocks will allow visitors to reconfigure their environment. The final gallery showcases an original interactive installation of virtual block play created by the LAB at Rockwell Group. Whether visitors choose the small or large blocks or the virtual block-play experience, children and adults alike will join in on creative, open-ended play.

“Blocks have always been a fundamental element of play, and were greatly inspirational to Imagination Playground. We are thrilled to work with the National Building Museum and to create a unique indoor play space within the historical context of construction and block play,” said David Rockwell. “Play—for children and adults—cannot be affirmed enough.”

For more information visit www.nbm.org.