Freedom with boxes

On the 30th of June, there will be another meeting of the “Samen Speel Netwerk”. The theme of the meeting is “From play equipment to inclusive play”.
In preparation for this  I ‘m researching this interesting proces.

This picture of a  a child crawling out of a box was taken during the May 5th liberation festival in Wageningen. 95,000 people, young and old celebrated freedom together by dancing, chatting, eating and drinking. But also by building a hut in the chaos and noise and playing in it for hours.

The child was playing at the  Torck Park in Wageningen which was renamed “Express yourself park” for one day. It was the domain of Circus op de Utrechtse Heuvelrug and SpelenMaar, the loose parts pop up playground.
SpelenMaar is an initiative of me (Empowerment by Playing)  and Creatiefhuis Wageningen.

I knew the power of loose parts playgrounds but this event surpised me. The power of children to play in all that hustle and bustle, working so focussed alone or together on a hut, an amazing marble track or a boat, unbelievable!

An English-speaking girl at first didn’t feel like playing, because “I do not know anyone”. But SpelenMaar did its job and she could not resist the temptation of all those boxes, cloths, shelves , ropes and other children playing. A little later I saw her and a girl pushing a tube through a hole to put a stovepipe on their hut. Not a word was spoken (nor could it be because of the noise of a performance barely 5 meters from the hut in the making). The language of play is universal, so together they managed it.

Because of the loose parts children meet eachother and and are stimulated to play together. No playground equipment was needed! In this case, a playground would have been completely overrun by the crowd and inclusive play would have been impossible. SpelenMaar showed that playground equipment is not necessary for inclusive play.

SpelenMaar on May 5 was a try-out. The offical kick off is on Saturday the 18th of June at the Tuindorp Playground in Wageningen.

 I’m really looking forward to seeing how playful and inclusive it will! Do want to experience it?  Put June 11th in your agenda, grap all the kids you know and come play!


Welcome in our Inclusive Playground!

Organization of the sixt meeting of the Samenspeelnetwerk

Opening of the renovated schoolyards of primary school KSU de Spits in Lunette, Utrecht

Successful kick off SpelenmaaR

Workshop Inclusive Play SBB Gagelbos – Utrecht

19th of may 2022 Workshop Inclusive Play Boerplay – Nieuwendijk

Coming to Holland

SpelenMaar Pop up Loose parts playground

The meaning of the rollerslide

In the eyes of a child


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