Friday, 28 February 2014

Zan On Tour: Bernheim, KY

It's been an epic few days - a lot of driving and a lot of playing. I haven't really got the words right now to share with you all because I'm really tired, but I do have some photos to show you!

A photo of me in Bernheim Forest. It was a beautiful day.

This is ice that grows upwards from the ground!

And here is some honey comb, dry and abandoned, and super cool.

There are loads more photos here, if you are curious about what I got up today, or for any other part of the tour so far. For now, I bid you all goodnight! :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Zan On Tour: Ithaca, NY

I'm writing this sitting on my lovely bed in an apartment in Ithaca, NY having spent a great weekend with a lovely bunch of play advocating people. Who are these great people? The peeps at the Ithaca Children's Garden and the Anarchy Zone of course! They, in my opinion, are really pulling forward in the way that they are using playwork in the USA to work with children in their very own adventure playground. It's all marvelous stuff.

We were proud to host an open forum with the folks at Ithaca Children's Garden where we presented on the importance of play as part of the Pop-Up Adventure Play and Special Guests Tour 2014. I think we were very well received and there was a lot of positive feedback. I wish that my body didn't choose this moment to have a monumental cold. I'm okay, but the tour experience has been dampened for me somewhat, and has been a lot tougher on my body and my energy levels. I'm sure it'll go away soon, like the snow is quietly melting away.

Anyway, here are some photos from our trip so far. I'll include some photos from the Pop-Up Adventure Playground at Berkshire Museum too, which was our first stop.

#1: Berkshire Museum - Alex and Eliza as a cardboard shark.

#1: Berkshire Museum - Kid in a bucket.

Zan is very happy about little yellow car.

We have dinosaur company!

#2: Ithaca, NY - Great advertising!

#2: Ithaca, NY - We are for serious here.

#2: Ithaca, NY - This is a lovely tile mosaic, taken at the Anarchy Zone.

And here is Zan in huge tyre - enjoying every moment of being at the Anarchy Zone.

Right, I think I should be getting myself some sleep to get rid of this cold. Hope you enjoyed the pics - more posts to come soon! :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Museum of Science in Boston

I'm in Boston visiting fellow Pop-Up colleague Anna and her family just before the tour (that starts tomorrow!). It's cold and snowy here too, but it's okay - I have been welcomed into a very warm household. It's been a long time since I last visited Anna. The last time I was here there were loads of pumpkins involved!

Today, Anna, her two little girls and I went to the Museum of Science. We took the T (Boston's public train system) to the museum, and got to wander around in the snow a little. It was really fun!

Here's me and Anna with Eliza. Alex is taking the photo. 

This is Eliza and Alex with matching fun hats! :)

At the museum, Alex and Eliza took me to see their favourite spots which included a bed of nails! (Don't worry, it was completely safe.) We also went to an area of the museum called the Design Center where loose parts were given out and children were asked to make a specific object out of it in their own way. Today's project was to make a house earthquake proof - it was pretty cool because the staff weren't concerned so much about the outcome - it was more the process! Almost like play! :)

Look at meee on a bed of nails. In my head, this shouldn't work and should be more painful, but I knew the science, so I went with it. It was kinda awesome.

This is the spot where they were testing out the structures to see if they were earthquake proof. Alex's structure was awesome and withstood a 9.0 earthquake!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I want the future Pop-Ups office to look like. It's absolutely awesome and has sooo many loose parts my heart was all a-flutter!

Anyway, after a super long day, I'm pretty sleepy, so I'd better go. I need to be ready and awake for the launch of the Pop-Up Adventure Play and Special Guests Tour 2014 that starts tomorrow! I can't quite believe that it's happening, BUT IT IS! I'm so excited, and so scared at the same time! What happens if I imagined the whole thing but bought a car because it seemed sensible at the time? Oh well, it's happening now so it's too late! ADVENTURE TIME! :)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


I have been quite fascinated by the icicle formations on every single building here in the US. It is just that cold that if you go outside and stay still for long enough, you'll start growing icicles. I braved a 15 minute photo adventure to take some pics of these impressive natural water formations:

The icicles form pointy fringes along the edges of buildings. It's actually very pretty.

Occasionally these icicles are monstrous. Wouldn't want to be standing near that when it falls down.

Here is a fallen icicle. Still huge!

The cars grow icicles too - they look like they have beards! :)

There's approximately 7 days until I go on the Pop-Up Adventure Play and Special Guests Tour 2014, and I'm really excited. I'm purposefully giving myself time to rest for a few days so I have enough energy to be on the road for 2 months. Things are all coming together now too, and with 14 locations to organise, it's been quite a feat! I think in the next few days, I'm going to get myself some snowpants so I can frolic with joy in copious amounts of snow and visit all of the icicles! Hoorah! 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Seven Happy Photos

It's been a rather crazy. Lots of things - quite adult, boring things - have had to happen in the last few days that, well, it makes a person lose track of time. And it pushes out all the time we have for play.

But no fear, there is still play. There hasn't been time to make it public, but I've definitely been having little bits of fun, even if it's just taking a photo or two. Here are seven photos that have made me smile over the last few, super busy days:

Star shaped gummies of deliciousness.

Pop-Up Adventure Play magnets. MAGNETS. You do not know how awesome these are.

Here I am, at the airport. I'd forgotten how amazing it felt to be at the beginning of a new adventure.

This view took my breath away. Being high in the sky - noone else has as tall as me! :)

And this - the colours - look at that! Flying is awesome!

These tiny tiny cupcakes may have been pretty expensive, but they were perfect and delicious. :)


It may have been a trying time but look at me, no shortage of fun, and no shortage of play, and huge amounts of excitement for adventures ahead! Only 11 days til the tour begins and I am EXCITED. Weeeeee! :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Return of the Snow Dinosaur

Remember my Snow Dinosaur? I was so incredibly proud of it when I made it last year, and couldn't wait until it snowed again so I could make Snow Dinosaur 2. But it didn't end up snowing again in the UK and I was a little sad.

I've made the long journey to the US now and I knew there would be a chance of snow so imagine how excited how excited I was when I woke up to snow this morning! Oh yes! Ladies and gentlemen, it's the Return of The Snow Dinosaur!

Look! There he is! It's fat and cute and he sits on a picnic table! 

Here he is in mood lighting. I think he's really cool! :) Yaaaay! :)

There is a lot of snow where I am. Snow Dinosaur 2 was made mostly by the snow that was on the picnic table! I think today alone there was about 2 feet of snow, but life just goes on here. It snows too often for them to panic all the time about it, unlike in the UK! Hahaha.

I'll be honest, I was delighted that there was some snow for me to play with! Yaay for snow, and hoorah for Snow Dinosaur 2! :)