This summer, I'm trying something a little different. Every year for the past [many] years, during the summer, I've hired a series of performers (jugglers, magicians, storytellers, etc.) to come to the library and perform for an audience of library families. This past spring, I attended a presentation about a new educational movement (think: on par with Montessori or Reggio) that's coming out of China. It's called AnjiPlay and I left the presentation completely inspired. You can read more about AnjiPlay (and get inspired!) on their website, but the short version is that it's all about TRUE PLAY and self-determination and the inherent learning that takes place when kids reflect on their play. I knew that it would take a long time for any public schools in the U.S. to even begin to embrace this amazing philosophy, so... I decided to bring at least some form of AnjiPlay to my library this summer (and the folks of AnjiPlay have graciously agreed to help shape this endeavor -- their feedback has strengthened this event so much!). And so, instead of asking kids to sit still in a stuffy meeting room, this summer, everyone is invited to join us at a nearby park to play. I'm calling it "A Wild Rumpus." This past Tuesday was our first Rumpus. It was a blast! Here are some photos (this week's play was a little shortened due to our summer kick-off presentation by local Frisbee expert, Brad Wendt) after the jump:
a wooden fort!
I'm not sure what this is, but I love it!
A tea party, complete with table and chairs you can actually sit at, tea cups and plates and a centerpiece!
Rolling is fun!
One of the key components of AnjiPlay is reflecting on the play you've just engaged in. I'm asking all of the kids who attend to draw or write a "Play Story" for each time that they participate. I created 8 page booklets for each child to use so that by the end of the summer they should have a full booklet of pictures.
Some focused on the Frisbee presentation
I love how this one subdivided the page to allow for multiple "stories"
Some focused on the things they built:
Some chose to just tell their own story about another fun and exciting day:
This participant created a long story that took up her whole booklet:
HUGE thanks to the Madison Parks Division for sharing their space with us--what a great partnership!