About

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

Events

In 2016 we introduced Denver kids to child-led, free play with recycled, repurposed materials at pop-up adventure playground events throughout the metro area.

In 2017 FreeRange Playground obtained 501(c)(3) status and hosted additional summer pop-up events in partnership with organizations such as Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Parks & Recreation, Broomfield Libraries, and the Montessori School of Denver.

In 2018 we will work with funding partners and corporate sponsors to install a more permanent adventure playground that’s fully staffed, and FREE for all children.

Engage with us on Facebook, and check out photos from our events on Flickr. Contact us if you’d like to get more involved by volunteering, donating materials, or making a financial contribution.

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