My eyes are opened – thanks to Pop-Up Adventure Play

“My eyes are opened.”


Can you imagine how powerful it must be that first time you see a child’s inner voice call out, loud and true, in their play?


Can you imagine being brave enough to put aside your long-held, culturally-entwined belief that risk equals danger?


Can you imagine seeing that your actions as an adult either support or circumvent play?

Early childhood educators in Singapore, engrossed in playing their own way

“My eyes are opened.”


These were the words from a preschool teacher in Singapore after seeing Suzanna and Morgan from Pop-Up Adventure Play in action.


This same teacher took back to her school the idea that the children in her service needed more opportunities to play; play that followed their own rules, for their own reasons, in their own ways.


The following week, she began the school day by leaving countless cardboard boxes in an open space at the entrance to her school, where parents dropped off their children at the start of the session.


With tears in her eyes and pride breaking her voice at times, this teacher described how the children went straight to the boxes, not faltering in beginning to play. The parents hung around longer than usual, some getting involved, some standing to the side; most wide-eyed at seeing the challenge/quiet space/interaction/creative venture their own child had set for themselves with a box or two.


The teacher recounted what a powerful experience it was, to have not only trusted the children to play in their own ways, but also to open the opportunity for parents to see, and to begin a dialogue with them about play in their child’s life.

More teachers at play in Singapore

“My eyes are opened.”


I’ve been lucky enough to meet the good people of Pop-Up Adventure Play twice, in Singapore. The words of that preschool teacher would be a great way to sum up the effect I have seen them have on communities there. Their ability to offer themselves in play to both children and adults, to encourage discussion, to start a dialogue, to offer ideas and support developing understandings, is nothing short of awesome.


There are lucky communities across Canada who, this summer, will be benefiting from the expertise and playwork of Pop-Up Adventure Play. See their Crowdfunder page and press release for details of how you can support and get involved. I am pretty sure your eyes would be opened, too!

The remnants of a pop-up adventure playground in Singapore, as part of Pop-Up Adventure Play’s World Tour 2015. Materials all played out!




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