About

 

The Future of FreeRange Playground

We are currently working to build community support and engage with strategic partners to install a more permanent adventure playground (in addition to any pop-up events) that’s fully staffed, contains more advanced materials and is FREE for all children.

Follow Up on Our Kickstarter

Thank you to our community for generously pledging to support FreeRange Playground’s adventure playground installation this summer. Whether you offered $1 to show your enthusiasm for risky play or $1,000 to demonstrate your commitment to having an adventure playground in Denver, we thank you.

We were, of course, a bit disappointed that we didn’t knock it out of the park with our first attempt at building a more long-term space; however, we are completely at peace with this turn of events. Building this space requires a lot of time and work from our entirely volunteer-run board of directors, and it was important to us that we have strong community support before moving forward with the project. While we believe many kids would have enjoyed time playing in this space, there didn’t seem to be quite enough community support to make it the obvious next step.

To be clear, we are still fully committed to seeing an adventure playground built in Denver and we will continue to work toward that goal. The next few weeks will be spent regrouping and re-strategizing as an organization.

From the results of this crowdfunding campaign, it is clear to us that our efforts should be targeted at building our community, educating parents about the benefits of risky play, and working with strategic partners that can help us build the type of playground we want to exist.

Our plan moving forward will undoubtedly involve encouraging supporters to directly engage with our organization and help us build momentum. If you are interested in being a part of what we are working on in any capacity, please email us.

Our goal is to offer opportunities for kids to engage in this type of play this summer, though we don’t know exactly what that will look like yet. Join our email list to keep up to date on future events and updates.

We are confident that an adventure playground has a place in Denver, and we will continue to do everything we can to advocate for it. Thank you again for your pledges and for your continued support of our organization.

FreeRange Playground: Imagine, Build, Destroy

FreeRange Playground’s Mission

Our purpose is to develop the next generation of independent and capable risk takers through the power of play.

Children are naturally creative, curious, and capable. Consistent with the adventure playground model, we provide unstructured play spaces which enable kids to cultivate these traits, helping them to become confident and independent adults.

In our spaces, kids engage in intrinsically motivated play to imagine, build and destroy as they see fit. They navigate risks (not to be confused with hazards), solve problems and collaborate. They get to have fun with minimal adult supervision and enjoy the benefits of mixed age play.

What We Mean By…

Intrinsically Motivated Play

This type of play is completely child-directed. It is freely chosen and performed for no external goal or reward. There are no lesson plans, no objectives, no prompts, no agendas: It is play for play’s sake.

FreeRange Playground Children Engaging in Intrinsically Motivated Play

Risk vs. Hazard

A hazard is something a child does not see that could harm them, such as a sharp nail poking out of a plank of wood. A risk is a challenge a child can see and choose to undertake or not. Eliminating risk leads to a child’s inability to assess danger, and a decreased sense of self-reliance and confidence. Our spaces are free of hazards but brimming with opportunities for risk taking.

FreeRange Playground Children Taking Risks

Mixed Age Play

Kids of a wide age range play together in our spaces. Older kids take on the role of tutor, nurturer, and mediator of conflicts while interacting with younger kids. In turn, younger kids take inspiration and guidance from their older counterparts. Both ends of the spectrum benefit from interaction with kids who are not just their same age.

FreeRange Playground Mixed Aged Play

That’s one of the key things with this free range concept…they figure it out.

Kevin Kim

Father of Winston, Age 5

Our Advisory Board

Tracy Larson

Board Chair

 

John Larson

Vice-Chair

 

Lee Robinson

Financial Chair

 

Rob Fieldhouse

Vice-Chair

 

Leslie James

Secretary

 

Jen Barrow

Vice-Chair

 

Contact us if you’d like to get more involved by volunteering, donating materials, or making a financial contribution.