When I joined the Free Play Matters Task Force last year I was elated at the opportunity. I listened, talked with friends, participated in meetings, shared on social media, and finally decided I needed to take my own action and lead by example. As the 2017 school year drew to an end I decided to invite a few of the children on our bus loop over for a play date after school. My plan? Get rid of all the boxes I had accumulated over the last several months. I added in markers, tape and scissors along with other loose parts like various-sized foam packing pieces and fillers. I also added a tree stump painting station, giant Jenga, some jump ropes, and balls.
The play started with lots of running through the trail and onto the zipline. An abundance of excited voices and laughter carried across the yard as they each found their way and figured out how to secure the zipline in the right position so they could jump on and be whisked across the yard. They ran, jumped and used their full bodies to experience and enjoy their play. I hid on the deck behind the bushes trying to take photos. I was determined to stay in the shadows and not get involved.