In May of 2018, nearly 70 delegates from around the United States gathered in Champaign-Urbana are KOOP Adventure Play & Pop-Up Adventure Play's first Prioritizing Play Conference.
One thing we believed to be true was confirmed: there are an ever-growing number of folks all around the US (+beyond) who are hungry for resources on how to prioritize play in their settings.
Teachers, Landscape Architects, Mayors, Early Childhood care providers and people from park districts, nature programs, libraries and museums attended... all with a vision-- that play is important and worthy of intentional and thoughtful provision-- and left with inspiration to bring play to their setting or with ideas and connections on improving what they already offer. Some folks even started their own adventure play projects after the conference!
KOOP & Pop-Up Adventure Play are 2 organizations grounded in playwork: a unique and long-established field of study and approach to working with children in which the child is in charge of their play and the adult supports the child's pursuits without judgement. Put very simply: playworkers prioritize play and support and trust children. Playwork is growing in the United States and an answer to what so many professionals and parents feel to be true for children today: that their play is undervalued, inadequately provided for and generally an after-thought.
Gatherings like ours are bringing resources, opportunities for connection with play-minded professionals and support to folks working on better provision in their settings. This is the spot for you to recharge, network and prepare to move forward playfully in 2020!
October 2-4, 2020, KOOP Adventure Play & Pop-Up Adventure Play will again join together to offer the Prioritizing Play Conference 2.0 in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Below is the link to the interest form. Register your interest to stay informed and we'll only email you for that purpose.