KOOP Adventure Play Afterschool at Uni Primary

I am a play advocate. This means that I believe children have the right and need to play freely and independently in order to develop and learn without adult interference.

When I look at kids today, I feel that they are getting a sour deal. They have pressures, limitations, boundaries, too much school work, no physical education classes, recesses are being obliterated and their play time is either on a competitive team or facilitated by an adult. They have very little or no freedom, have never felt bored, have busier schedules than their parents and are addicted to screens.

Playworking is what we do in an adventure play setting. The Principles of Playworking state that we must trust the "innate wisdom of children" (The Playwork Primer) and allow them to play so that the children themselves can integrate their internal and external worlds. The interference of an adult will take these magical opportunities away from the child's growth, development, and basic extinct. This was once the status quo as kids were left unattended to play outside with other children in their neighborhood. Kids need this play environment. They need to play outside, scrape their knee, play with the multiple age groups, as well as to play alone but today these once normal opportunities are considered unique.

When given the opportunity children learn new skill sets, take risks, learn their capabilities and limitations, learn social norms, learn to communicate, role play and they play in all kinds of ways. Bob Hughes runs Play Education and has been a playworker since 1970. He has lectured all over the world and currently works as a playwork writer, trainer and researcher. Hughes has specified 16 types of play which we see daily in an adventure playground setting.

Play in the traditional sense has been disappearing and the need for it to come back is evident with the pressures of school, the increased rates of suicide, the influence of screens, competitive sports, the change in adult careers and their availability and the amount of kids being medicated or on diets. I believe that the pendulum is swinging back in the direction of child led, free play but it is in dire need of more play advocates.

Luckily, you and your children can take part in this movement. KOOP- Kid Owned and Operated Play and the University Primary School have partnered to offer your children a different experience. Through our Adventure Play After School Program kids will be able to build confidence, boost creativity, promote self-expression, learn to overcome obstacles, help understand and manage risk, foster communication, develop responsibility, encourage collaboration, learn from multiple aged peers, and entertain themselves for extended periods of time. Read more about the benefits on our website.

Using adventure playground philosophy, all children in CU have the unique opportunity to direct their play based on their own interests and motivations. Your kids will have access to a multitude of "Loose Parts" to use however they choose, and the option to engage in various projects while expressing their creativity, acquiring new skills, challenging themselves, learning through play, having fun and meeting new friends!

Ages: Preschool -5th Grade

When: Daily between 3:00-5:30pm

Winter, Spring, Summer camps also available- dates TBA

Uni Primary School Calendar

Where: University Primary School

51 Gerty Dr.

Champaign, Il, 61821

To register or for more information about registration contact Christine Wyant

For more information about the program contact Naomi Sukenik, the Adventure Play Afterschool Coordinator.

Read more about the Play Team that contributed to this amazing partnership.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about the play opportunities we provide, read our blog to learn more about our philosophies, insights and suggestions about play.

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