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Imagination Playground at the Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training

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November 5, 2012 in Featured Sites, Play Events

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Tucked away in a small corner of New Orleans East, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET) serves as an oasis of joy, activity and playfulness for the children and families of the community. Over 400 children and families visit this community-based resource center on a daily basis to participate in the year-round children’s programming and the multitude of education and economic training programs. Most recently, thanks to a 2012 grant from the Let’s Play initiative and KaBOOM!, VIET was able to add Imagination Playground in a Box to its vast list of program offerings.

This past summer, VIET integrated the equipment into its Summer Adventure program, which gave 250 campers the opportunity to exercise their imaginations. “Imagination Playground truly has given our children creative ways to play,” says Cyndi Nguyen, VIET executive director, “Children are playing using their creative minds, therefore it makes learning fun! I love the fact that they can create their own play.” In addition to the Summer Adventure program, Nguyen plans to bring the Imagination Playground to different areas of the community to expand play opportunities for children in Louisiana. The goal is to help prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles among a diverse set of neighboring communities in New Orleans East and beyond.
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add-on sets rollout

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October 16, 2012 in Play Events

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Imagination Playground is excited to launch the new Add-on Sets with the rollout of the new play parts in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles this fall. The Add-on Sets will increase the variety and complexity of play through angled and curved shapes.
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families explore creative play at the delaware aerospace education foundation

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October 12, 2012 in Museums, Play Events

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Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation (DASEF) in Smyrna recently unveiled their Imagination Playground to children and parents visiting the September Family Day event.
Looks like an inspiring day of building! Children raced to finish different challenges with the blocks and proudly presented their designs to the community. Thank you to the team at DASEF for the firsthand account below.
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imagination playground in a school bus concept

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September 15, 2012 in Play Events

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Here at Imagination Playground, we never stop dreaming up new ways to bring creative play to kids around the world.

One of the new ways we’re thinking of doing this is with the Imagination Playground in a School Bus Concept.

This sketch is just the start of what could be a fun new way to bring Imagination Playground blocks to wherever kids play.

Staffed by a driver and a play associate, the bus could visit schools and playgrounds as it zigzags across the country spreading play, like Johnny Appleseed!

Anyone out there know of a used school bus that we could paint blue?

chicago loop alliance: “open streets” on state street

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August 29, 2012 in Play Events

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In September 2011, Chicago closed down one of its busiest stretches of road to host Open Streets on State Street, an initiative fueled by the Chicago Loop Alliance in association with Active Transportation Alliance that intends to create safe public spaces on car-free streets.

This free event aims to promote community culture, provide a chance for families to get out and have fun, and allow everyone to experience the Loop in a new and exciting way. According to Active Transportation Alliance’s Julia Kim, one of the most important elements of this event was the ability to engage children and families, as well as the many young professionals that traditionally fill the area.

To present something a little different, the Open Streets organizers brought in Imagination Playground to engage and delight all the children in attendance.

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Partnership for Providence Parks: celebration of play at “playful providence”

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August 29, 2012 in Play Events

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Providence, R.I. is a lively community that hosts a variety of playful programming for kids and families throughout the year. On September 7-9, the Partnership for Providence Parks is going to invite everyone out to play. And Imagination Playground will be there!

The City of Providence was recently honored as a Playful City USA community. This national program sponsored by KaBOOM! honors cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children active, playing and healthy. To celebrate this recognition, the Partnership for Providence Parks is sponsoring a slew of playful events to encourage families to visit new parks and explore new ways of playing.

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creative play at the DMY International Design Festival in Berlin

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June 6, 2012 in Play Events

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Imagination Playground is currently engaging families and communities in creative play across Europe! The playground was presented through a special play event and exhibition at the DMY International Design Festival at former Tempelhof Airport, June 6-10 in Berlin. The DMY Jury nominated Rockwell Group and Imagination Playground out of more than 500 participating designers for a DMY Award in 2012. Ten designers were nominated for three awards presented jointly by DMY and the Bauhaus Archive Berlin for pioneering work in the design industry. All nominated projects will be featured in a special exhibition at the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design in Berlin from September 12 to October 15, 2012.

ultimate block party

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October 2, 2011 in Play Events

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What better way to celebrate play, than to have an all-city block party? On Oct. 2, Baltimore-based organizations decided to do just that, collaborating to bring the Ultimate Block Party to Rash Field.

Hosted by Ultimate Block Partyand Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and sponsored by a slew of fantastic groups that actively support positive child-development practices, the event drew thousands of children and families out to play. Sponsored by KaBOOM!, Imagination Playground was a featured activity that, despite the unseasonably cold weather, engaged attendees all throughout the day. Imagination Playground was just one in a range of activities rooted in play and built on the science of learning and development.

The Ultimate Block Party aims to create a multi-pronged social movement that champions the importance of play and playful learning in children’s lives. It seeks to ensure that all children are provided with competitive skills for the 21st century global world and to build a groundswell of support about the value of play for fostering lifelong learning in the sciences and the arts.

Photo credit: Blandon Belushin

Imagination Playground arrives at Tuscaloosa school

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October 1, 2011 in Play Events

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As part of the efforts to bring a sense of normalcy back to Tuscaloosa, Ala. after April’s devastating tornado, children at Skyland Elemantary School recently received their very own Imagination Playground in a Cart.

“Play is how children work through the healing process,” said Dr. Cheryl Fondren, principal. “Children don’t always have the vocabulary to express how they feel and play is an important way for children to relieve stress. We need to have an outlet for children and the Imagination Playground and play in general, is a way we can allow children to heal.”

The Imagination Playground in a Cart was purchased through a $10,000 Let’s Play grant from Dr Pepper Snapple Group and is part of the company’s Let’s Play initiative – a $15 million, three-year commitment from Dr Pepper Snapple Group to KaBOOM!.

The school is currently using the Imagination Playground in a Cart during play time for Pre-K and kindergarten children. Fondren and school staff are planning to use the Imagination Playground in a Cart in conjunction with recess and other outdoor activities. They are also hoping to incorporate the equipment into play therapy for children and examining the possibility of incorporating the Imagination Playground in a Cart into the curriculum for students in 1st-5th grades.

UK launch of Imagination Playground

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August 17, 2010 in Play Events

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To celebrate the British launch of the new Imagination Playground in a Cart, there were three of these new products at the central London haven for play, Coram’s Fields, open to the public from Aug.17-19. On Aug. 17, there was an immensely successful play day, where David Rockwell came to celebrate the launch, that was full of kids and parents and select journalists. There was also a public discussion between Rockwell and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer about kids’ development and how free play is crucial.

As a thank you to Coram’s Fields, David Rockwell donated an Imagination Playground in a Cart so that the thousands of children who visit the park each year will be able to experience his new concept in free play.

Imagination Playground in a Cart is now available to the public in the U.K. and Europe, distributed by Play Direct UK.com.

Photo credit: Susan Smart