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.
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.
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.
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. Engage with us on Facebook, and check out photos from our events on Flickr.
This year we are in the process of setting up FreeRange Playground as a 501(c)(3), and working with partners to host more pop-up events this summer. We are also starting to work with funding partners and the Parks and Recreation department in Denver to install a more permanent adventure playground that’s fully staffed, and FREE for all children.
Our Advisory Board