Pop-Up Adventure Playground in Albany's Washington Park

Washington Park Pop Up Adventure Playground

From September's pop-up adventure playground

This looks like it could be fun time for kids: There's a free Pop-Up Adventure Playground event planned for Albany's Washington Park October 14 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. It's in the section of the park near Madison and Willett.

What is an adventure playground? Well, it's basically of collection of all sorts of items -- cardboard boxes, tires, finger paint -- that kids are allowed to play with however they want.

We were curious about this idea -- because, let's face it, a good cardboard box is one of the best toys -- so we reached out to the organizers to find out a little bit more.

The organizers and the motivation
The organizers of the Pop-Up Adventure Playground in Washington Park are Moira Mills and Heather Strubler.

The adventure playground idea started in Europe decades ago, and it's spread to the United States in recent years. Mills told us via email that she was prompted to start the local series of pop-up gatherings after her son was born.

Washington Park Pop Up Adventure Playground hammer

"I am motivated by feeling like children desperately need this kind of play in their lives," she said. "As a focus on academics and structured adult-directed activities continues to grow in popularity among parents and teachers, it is my belief that all children need space to just explore and play freely in child-directed spaces."

What to expect
Mills said there will be a lot of "loose parts" at the pop-up playground: cardboard boxes, tires, fabric, rope, blocks, finger paint, and many other items -- all intended to inspire creativity.

Washington Park Pop Up Adventure Playground paint

"Parents are encouraged to take a back seat and simply observe how their children are playing," Mills said. "If invited, absolutely play along but the children make all the rules here."

How to help
Mills said the main way to help is to show up with your kids. "Bring blankets, snacks and imagination."

photos via Moira Mills

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