Editor’s note: This post was provided by Kid Owned & Operated Play.
By now we hope you’ve heard of us! Formerly known as Central Illinois Adventure Playground, we are now KOOP: Kid Owned & Operated Play.
We at KOOP want to unite the C-U children and their families in a community-wide play event. Our mission is to educate the community about the importance of creative and unstructured play while giving all kids an opportunity to play freely. KOOP’s big event is coming up and we invite you to participate in the KOOP C-U Cardboard Challenge. We will meet on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. at Hessel Park in Champaign. Inspired by the short film “Caine’s Arcade,” the Global Cardboard Challenge is a worldwide celebration of child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it.
We want YOU to join in! On Saturday, Oct. 10, let’s get together to play, create and be inspired by each other’s creations. Here’s how to get started:
- Organize Your Cardboard Challenge Team –– Your family, friends, community group or class can be a team! Start gathering materials such as boxes, tubes, tape and any other recycled and repurposed materials. Brainstorm crazy ideas, make sketches, build and test creations. Decide if there will be a theme to your group’s creations.
- Start Creating! Work to thematically incorporate KOOP’s mission of Kid Owned and Operated Play into your creations. Get creative! Kids have made everything from marble mazes in pizza boxes and human whack-a-moles to robots and more. They can be games, or stand-alone creations … the possibilities are endless. Paint it, decorate it — whatever you want.
- Raise Awareness about the benefits of creative and imaginary play. By participating, you are doing just that. We hope that after this event, your family or group will have had so much fun that creative, child-directed play will become a regular part of your routine.
- Support KOOP — In order to tie the Cardboard Challenge into KOOP’s mission and to help us gain more support within the community, we are asking that the children’s creations begin with “Kid Owned & Operated Play” or “KOOP” as their inspiration. Help us allocate funds for establishing KOOP. We are so excited to see your creations!
Additionally, we’d like your help with fundraising to get KOOP a permanent home. Look up some fun ways to raise money or simply gather a donation from your group for KOOP’s future home. We would be honored if your group would do an independent fundraiser leading up to the cardboard challenge or on the day of the event. The idea is that the community and the kids can help in the creation of their future play space at KOOP.
No time to build your own creation leading up to Oct. 10? No problem! Come to the event anyway to see other people’s creations. Bring items you’d like to create with and we will have materials as well to have a Pop Up Play Event. The goal is to play together, raise awareness about creative play and work towards KOOPs permanent location.
If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter or email us at koopAdventurePlayground@gmail.com.
KOOP’s Play Team: Naomi Sukenik, Anne LeBauer, Kelsey Langley and Prof. Lynn Barnett Morris