(you can see some super fancy poi spinners on this video if you're still not sure how in the world this toy is used)
in block building--
(p.s. I'm pretty sure she was "tasting" it before the videographer asked her about it!)
My favorite rolling play:
Love this "run and jump" mounting technique!
Want to know the secret of how it works?
My favorite ladder play of the day:
Some great "stilts" walking:
My favorite examples of Risky Play from today:
(notice how he's quite good at judging for himself whether his structure is stable or not)
they had thrown something that got stuck in a tree, so one stood on the back of the other and they were able to retrieve it!
--A pet tube on a leash
And finally, some Play Stories from today, roughly in order from most abstract (likely youngest?) to least (likely older?):
(check it out, here's a great drawing of Mr. Fun and his poi!)
Here are a few spoken reflections on the Play Stories:
My favorite anecdotes and observations from today were the mom who took the day off of work in order to bring her daughters to the Wild Rumpus (wow!) and another mom who observed that normally, when her son goes to a playground, he immediately starts playing "bad guy" games and pretend shooting but that the materials we brought in were so engaging that his play style was completely different. He was more engrossed in building and figuring out what he could do with the materials and didn't get as aggressive as he normally does.
All in all, this has been an amazing summer. Someone asked me what the most surprising thing from this summer was and... it wasn't how much time it took me haul the materials in and out each week (that was a little surprising) and it wasn't how MUCH paint we used up in only 4 weeks (wow, that was rather surprising), no the MOST surprising thing was seeing the incredible value of repeat play. Each time a kid got to play with the same materials for more than one week, they gained the opportunity to learn new things - testing the limits of the material or equipment itself or the limits of their physical abilities or the limits of their imaginations. I feel like we've barely scratched the surface of those possibilities and I, for one, am not yet ready to be finished exploring how AnjiPlay can be used here in Madison.
I'm working on bringing AnjiPlay and the Wild Rumpus back again. I've got a three-week, indoor Wild Rumpus scheduled in December at my library and I'm hoping to be able to bring this event next summer to MORE parks on MORE days and I'd love to see it being used in one capacity or another throughout the school year as well.
If you loved the Wild Rumpus (and if you've read this far, whew!) and if you'd like to see MORE AnjiPlay in Madison, send me an e-mail at email@example.com. If you participated in this year's Wild Rumpus, share your favorite story about something that happened there. Even if you didn't get a chance to participate, send me an e-mail to let me know if you support the broadening of this effort. Your stories and quotes from you will help me to find the financial and institutional support that can make this a reality. I'd also love any constructive feedback--what did you love? What do you think we could improve next year? I can't wait to hear from you all!
In the meantime, I hope that you take a little of the AnjiPlay philosophy with you as your kids continue to play wherever they are -- allowing them to make their own choices about play and supporting them as they take calculated risks, both physical and intellectual. May you be amazed by their incredible abilities and fabulous imaginations.
p.s. a HUGE thanks to Professor Rebekah Willett who volunteered for the last six weeks of this program to video record, observe and interview participants of the Wild Rumpus. Your recordings and observations helped immensely and your presence each week was greatly appreciated. Thank you!