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Are the kids you know inside all day on their "devices"? Help us create an Adventure Playground in Boston and get them moving--outside!
193 backers pledged $21,262 to help bring this project to life.

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Adventure Play Boston: Recreating the play of your childhood project video thumbnail
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What's the plan?

On the large playground at a church in Central Jamaica Plain, a small team of dedicated professionals and parents are creating an area of about 22,000 square feet dedicated to adventure play and building, an Adventure Playground- the first in decades of its kind in the Boston area.

What is an Adventure Playground?

An Adventure Playground is a space in which children can play with objects and tools that encourage optimal risk, creativity, independence and adventure. This type of play is essential to growing resilient children with the capacity to thrive in a complex future.

Unlike the overly safe modern playground,  children in an Adventure Playground assess risk and create their own environments for play by interacting with real-world items -- wood, cardboard, rope, tarps, mechanical parts, paint, and hand tools. They are truly free to play as they like: Building, making up games, pretending, creating, dismantling, inventing.

Play is supervised by trained Playworkers who support without directing the children’s play, removing hazards while helping children to manage their own risks. Playwork is a distinct, professional approach and we are excited to be a part of the movement to return play to childhood! 

Adventure Play in Action, photo courtesy of Black Dog Pictures.
Adventure Play in Action, photo courtesy of Black Dog Pictures.

Adventure Play in Action

To get things moving, we will set up a SHED containing a variety of materials for building and play with "loose parts," including but not limited to: 

  • Tools, Cardboard, wood, duct-tape, nails, bicycle parts, tubes, wire, rope, paint, clay, brushes, etc. 
  • Kids will also play with water, mud, sticks and branches, rocks, trees, pine cones and all varieties of Nature’s original “toys.”

The area will be fenced in and trained Playworkers will be on hand at all times to supervise,  and help when asked. Unless there is a specific hazard, they will hold back and let the kids lead. This will be a parent-free zone for kids 4 and up; Adventure Play is not directed by adults!

Photo Courtesy of play:ground NYC                                      Photo Courtesy Black Dog Pictures
Photo Courtesy of play:ground NYC Photo Courtesy Black Dog Pictures

The History of Adventure Playgrounds

Adventure Playgrounds have been around since the 1930s, when Danish landscape architect C. Th. Sørensen noticed how rarely children preferred structured play at playgrounds to more exploratory play in the dirt and mud of undeveloped lots. He proposed that urban areas especially needed “a junk playground in which children could create and shape, dream and imagine a reality.”

There are hundreds of Adventure Playgrounds in Europe, but very few in the U.S., due to concerns over liability, visibly messy spaces, and the fear of letting children take risks. JP Green School is fortunate to have a great outdoor space with supportive landlords, and we are putting all the pieces in place to open an Adventure Playground on June 29, 2019.

Adventure Playground of old. Photo courtesy KOOP Adventure Play, Illinois
Adventure Playground of old. Photo courtesy KOOP Adventure Play, Illinois

Risk vs. Hazard

Play scholars define a hazard as a "danger in the environment that could seriously injure or endanger a child and is beyond the child’s capacity to recognize." Risk is defined as "the challenges and uncertainties within the environment that a child can recognize and learn to manage by choosing to encounter them while determining their own limits."  

It is the job of a Playworker to remove hazards for children, not risks, thereby enabling children to build confidence in their own ability to navigate the world. (ref)

Show Me the Money


Sample Rewards

Yankees vs. Redsox Box Seats, Boing! Gift Cards, Ice Cream Party for 100 people, Baby/Toddler Music Classes!
Yankees vs. Redsox Box Seats, Boing! Gift Cards, Ice Cream Party for 100 people, Baby/Toddler Music Classes!


Location

Adventure Play New England will open on June 29th, 2019 at 85 Seaverns Avenue, Jamaica Plain. We have 22,000 square feet to offer children in the greater Boston area for free play! The location is conveniently accessible by T and there is street parking available. Summer hours will be 10-5 Monday-Saturday. Cost: $7 per child, 2 for $12.

Loose Parts!

We hope to fill our play space over time with many of these items!

  • Duct tape
  • Wood stumps
  • Kitchen cookware (pots, pans, ladles, spoons, cupcake tray, cookie tray...)
  • Tools (rakes, shovels, watering can, brooms)
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Dress-up clothes (hats, glasses, ties, capes, wigs, scarves- open ended gear only)
  • Canvas tops
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Flooring
  • Rug samples
  • Wood chips
  • Heavy-duty containers (that can be reused/for storage/all sizes)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Rope or string
  • Fabric
  • 2x4 Planks of wood
  • Wooden spools
  • Milk crates
  • Old cameras (working or not)
  • tires (not car tires) bike, tractor
  • Old playground equipment
  • Clips and clasps
  • Thick sticks or logs
  • PVC tubes and connectors
The Land in Wales. Photo courtesy of David Ramsey, UK Playground Adventure.
The Land in Wales. Photo courtesy of David Ramsey, UK Playground Adventure.

 Want to learn more? Volunteer? Donate materials? Help us build this?
                       Email us at jpgreenschool@gmail.com

          or visit our website at  Adventure Play New England 

 APNE is a project of JP Green House, a registered 501c3 corporation. APNE and JP Green House are not affiliated with Hope Central Church and run as a completely secular organization.


Photo Gallery

Photo Credit: Black Dog Pictures
Photo Credit: Black Dog Pictures
Photos courtesy of play:ground NYC & Parish School
Photos courtesy of play:ground NYC & Parish School
Photo courtesy of play:ground NYC
Photo courtesy of play:ground NYC
Photos courtesy of play:ground NYC and Parish School
Photos courtesy of play:ground NYC and Parish School
Photo credit: Black Dog Pictures
Photo credit: Black Dog Pictures
Photos courtesy Parish School and play:ground NYC
Photos courtesy Parish School and play:ground NYC

Risks and challenges

We have done a significant amount of research regarding the challenges that opening an Adventure Playground present. We've been in contact with currently open playgrounds around the nation, gathering data and gleaning information. From this research, we've identified the most challenging aspects of this project...
The success of an adventure playground relies on the quality of staff training and support. Playworkers are the heart of such endeavors. In the United Kingdom, playwork is a profession that is shaped by a robust training system that includes university-level coursework and on-site apprenticeship. While we hope that the United States might one day offer that level of systematic training, at present our best option currently is to hire a playworker from Pop Up Adventure Play to come and train our enthusiastic staff. We are confident that they will help to guide us through the initial stages of running an adventure playground.

How viable is this model, financially? As a non-profit organization without federal, state, or municipal support (that aims to be welcoming to all), we face the challenge of creating a funding model that works long term. We are committed to paying playworkers a living wage, and to paying our landlords (a church) a fair rent. We need to cover insurance and materials. We are looking to raise enough money now to fund our first year of operations while we monetize the model. Based on consulting with other APs across the country, we envision combining grants, classes, summer camps, private events, and a modest fee per child to sustain the model.

Another challenge is safety issues that arise from children working with tools, etc. This challenge directly embodies the goal of the playground and is handled daily with risk management done by the playworkers and their ever-present watchful eye. Further, through communication with our surrounding community, we have experienced first-hand that parents and caregivers are broadly aware of the need to introduce risk into play, yet are often frustrated by how to do this.

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    Social Media Shout Out

    Thank you! Social media shout out - We want to thank anyone who helps!

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    Massive Photo Collage of Backers!

    Be part of a massive photo collage smile on our website - Put on your biggest smile and send us your picture through email. We will make a beautiful collage on our website of all the smiles that helped us bring adventure play to the children of greater Boston!

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    Adventure Play New England Sticker

    Help us spread the word about our new Adventure space by proudly displaying your sticker!

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    Artwork Created By Young People

    Receive an original, one of a kind, drawing of the playground done by one of our youngest advocates who wants to support this project and share their talent.

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    Mini Adventure Kit

    Bring the adventure to your home with minimal mess. Contained in an egg carton box, you will receive different odds and ends to create and imagine.

    Pick up will be available at the Adventure Play New England in August. For children 3 and up.

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    Hand knitted hat!

    Don't get cold on your next Adventure! Get a hand-knitted hat with a donation of $25 or more!

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    Grand Opening Passes!

    Ensure your child gets entrance into our Grand Opening on June 29th with this donation! We are getting such a great response to our Opening Day so don't miss out!

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    $50 Gift Certificate to A Thread of Hope

    Using hand-dyed 100% bamboo fiber thread or chenille yarn, these scarves are handwoven on traditional backstrap looms by a 180-woman Maya women's weaving cooperative in the highlands of Guatemala. Fair Trade wages help support a network of over 1,100 family members of these genocide survivors--to attend school, get proper nutrition, etc.

    See website for A Thread of Hope:
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    MoS passes!

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    Discovery Museum entry + nature walk!

    The Discovery Museum recently reached out to us to add ANOTHER Family Pass but this one also includes a 30 minute guided Nature Walk on Great Hill conservation land which abuts the museum campus. The walk will be guided by their amazing Outdoor & Environmental Educator, Rachel Danford at a mutually agreed upon time over the summer. This walk is great for little kids but could definitely be tailored for older kids too!

    Face Value of Passes: $56
    Face Value of Nature Walk: Priceless :-)

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    1 hour Garden/Landscape Consult

    Get a professional to design your garden! With this donation you will receive 1 hour of professional consultation from a Garden Designer.

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    Framed Charcoal Drawing of Your Child

    Artist Claire Whall will make a charcoal drawing of your child, and matt and frame it for you.

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    One hour of baby-wearing consultation

    First time parent wondering how the heck to use all these carriers you got gifted?
    Is your carrier a little bit uncomfortable?
    Have a newborn and need your hands free?
    Donate $85 and learn how to be a baby-wearing expert!

    Face value: $100

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    Your Name on our Fence Post

    We will write your name on one of the fence posts around Adventure Play New England, that way we will be surrounded by those who support us all the time!

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    Melissa Merres Coaching Sessions

    If you donate $100 or more, you will receive two 1 hour sessions of professional coaching from ICF-certified coach Melissa Merres, ACC (www.merrescoaching.com). In this hour, you will gain clarity and confidence on the change you most want to realize for yourself. Coaching sessions are valued at $150 and even one session can deliver critical perspective shifts and untapped strengths. Become empowered to align your values with your actions at work, at home, and in your most important relationships.

    Face value: $300

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    Professional Holiday Family Photo

    Get a professional photo of your family for your holiday cards this year from Black Dog Pictures! https://blackdogpictures.smugmug.com/

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    1 Year Adventure Play New England Pass

    Get a complimentary 1 year pass to come any time to the Adventure Playground. Good for 2 children.

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    Kids Sports Photography

    Want crystal clear shots of your kids in action at their sporting events? Black Dog Pictures will come to your child's game and get amazing action shots! Team photo included as well!

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    Professional Photos of Kids Party

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    2 weeks of Reading Recovery Tutoring

    Is your child struggling in school due to reading challenges? Let professionals help you. Donate $200 and claim this reward, 2 weeks of Reading Recovery tutoring.

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    Your Business Logo on a Banner

    All local business' that donate $200 or more will have their logo printed on a giant banner of funders at the entrance of Adventure Play New England! This will be accomplished in time for the Grand Opening on June 29th!

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    Life Coaching for Young People

    Life coaching for teens and college graduates with Julia Hicks DePeyster. In a 2 hour coaching session Julia will help you child craft a resume, a draft cover letter, a thank you email, as well as run your child through a mock interview.

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    Fall Semester Music Together class

    Pledge for this reward and get a Fall Semester of Music Together classes with the Children's Music Center at the Brewery!

    Program includes:
    - Weekly 45-minute classes, using a researched-based program taught by trained teachers
    - CD +download code so you take home songs used in class
    - Beautifully illustrated Songbook with at-home activity suggestions
    - A different song collection each semester
    - New families: Parent Guide booklet
    - Unlimited make-ups using our easy on-line makeup scheduler
    - A quarterly e-newsletter and access to the national informative website

    For more information visit: https://jamaicaplainmusic.com/music-together-classes.html

    Face value: $200

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    Host an Event at Adventure Playground

    Have your private party at Adventure Play New England!

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    PLAYFUNDERS: Your name on our website!

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    1 Week at Vacation House in Vermont

    Have your 2019 Adventure in Vermont! With this amazing contribution you won't just be a Founding Sponsor, you'll get your own 1 week vacation where your kids can hike, swim, explore and be free! House is in Brattleboro, with 10 acres of forest and fields. Sleeps 8.

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    FOUNDING SPONSORS: Logo & Name on Shed

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    Adventure Play Family Lifetime Members

    Become a substantial donor and receive a lifetime membership to Adventure Play New England, no limits on the free play ever!

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    The New Adventure Playground Movement

    Get the book that says it all - The New Adventure Playground Movement - by Morgan Leichter-Saxby and Suzanna Law. "This book provides an overview of the 2014 Pop-Up Adventure Play tour, detailing images, interviews and anecdotes, inviting the reader along for the ride."

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    There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather

    With this pledge get the book "There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids" by author Linda Åkeson McGurk, in which she praises the benefits of adventure play!

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    Family Pass to Discovery Museum!

    Receive a pass for 4 to the Discovery Museum in Acton! Face value: $56.

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    Passes to the Peabody Essex Museum!

    Donate $40 or more and receive 2 passes to the Peabody Essex Museum!

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    One Hour of "Handywoman" Tasks

    Got a project that you've been putting off or is a little more complex than you expected? Let our team help you out! For a pledge of $50 get 1 hour of time from one of our handiest women on staff!

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    Charcoal Drawing of Your Child

    Artist Claire Whall will make a charcoal drawing of your child.

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    $50 Gift Card to Blanchards

    Gift card to Blanchards for $50

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    Red Sox vs Texas Rangers June 12

    Don't miss this opportunity to see our beloved World Series Champs!
    June 12; 7:10PM Section 39, Row 36, Seats 12 & 13

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    Herbal Creams and Ointments

    A selection of delicious creams, scrubs, and ointments from master herbalist Susan Meeker-Lowry at Gaia's Garden Herbals : https://www.facebook.com/gaiasgardenherbals/

    All herbs are homegrown. Only chemical free ingredients are used.

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    Pen and Ink Drawing of your child

    Artist Claire Whall will make a pen-and-ink drawing of your child.

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    Blissful Monkey baby music classes!

    Enroll yourself and your baby / toddler / child in music classes with Evan at The Blissful Monkey! They offer classes for babies, toddlers and young children.

    https://www.musicattheblissful.com/

    Face value: $120

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    JP Licks Ice Cream Party for 50 People!

    Have an Ice Cream bar at your next pop-up Adventure event compliments of JP Licks! Donate $100 or more and pick up 1 tubs of ice cream -- (enough to feed 50 people!), 50 cups, spoons, & napkins, and 1 disposable ice cream scoop.

    (Note: This is not an event AT JP Licks, items must be picked up at their shop)

    Face Value: $110

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    2 Hours of Decluttering!

    Is your house an Adventure Playground? Get things organized with The Clutter Queen (http://myclutterqueen.com/)! Donate $250 and receive 2 hours of declutter time.

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    Hale SWAG Bag - Hale Reservation

    Use your 10-pack of Hale Summer Club individual day passes as your next Adventure! Bring a family of 5 to visit for two days or a parent-child could go for five days and enjoy swimming, boating, archery, games, camp outs, movie nights, and more. Includes trail maps, pens, and stickers.

    For more information about the Hale Summer Club visit: https://halereservation.org/outside-active/hale-summer-club/

    Face value: $200

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    Weekend at Vacation Home in VT

    Spend an adventure weekend in Brattleboro, VT. House is on 10 acres of fields and forests, close to town. House sleeps 8 people.

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    Red Sox vs. Yankees - 2 Box Seats

    Got a Red Sox fan who's idea of an adventure of a lifetime would be to sit 13 rows behind home plate at a Yankees / Sox game? This is your chance to make that dream come true! Your fan will be able to see every pitch crystal clear and let the UMP know what's what!

    July 25, 2019: 7:10 pm start
    Field Box 40, Row M

    Similar tickets for this game are currently selling for between $600 and $700 per seat on re-seller sites and the game itself is sold out of regular priced tickets.

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Funding period

- (30 days)