PLAY DAY WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL NOVEMBER DUE TO BUILDING REPAIR.
REVISED DATE TO FOLLOW>>>>>>>>>>>>
Cafe Slow: 〒185-0022 Tokyo, Kokubunji, 東元町２丁目２０
The cafe will be closed that day, so please bring your obento!
We had light rain just after our event was set up for The Global Cardboard Challenge on Friday. Sadly, most of the kids we anticipated didn’t show up. We didn’t lose heart though, and a few brave souls trickled in after the weather cleared to inhabit the cardboard dwellings that were created. As always, it was great fun and I couldn’t have done it without my husband’s help, or the wonderful folks that run the play park adventure playground.
I had such a great time this year getting to know the folks at The Imagination Foundation, as well as other Cardboard Challenge organizers from around the world. This year there were more than 43 countries represented and 100,000 kids at the Global Cardboard Play Day. If you’ve ever thought about planning an event for your community next year, be sure to visit Caine’s Arcade to find out more. You can be part of this amazing and inspiring cardboard movement!
The Global Cardboard Challenge is here again! Will you be joining THE WORLD on October 5th, 2014 to either play or host an event?
For everything Caine’s Arcade and The Global Day of Play, please be sure to check out The Imagination Foundation’s excellent website and resources.
I’m also excited to be planning my own event in collaboration with a local adventure playground here in Tokyo! More information to come, but until then I want to share some of my insights from hosting 5+ events last year…….
*10 Tips for Cardboard Play Day*
1. It’s all about the cardboard!
2. Don’t let cardboard get unruly.
3. Give them tool boxes.
4. Provide a secure area for kids to keep their stuff (i.e. coat check).
5. Keep the organizer free.
6. Provide a theme/give permission
7. Give kids real tools.
8. Use reusable fasteners.
9. Have an exit strategy.
10. Get feedback.
This week was filled with lots of play, lots of cardboard, and lots of discovery. I learned a lot by watching children and parents play and build together during the two events that took place.
The first was a play event for my daughter’s Yoji group, a play group that meets weekly at the local Jidokan (a kind of youth community center). The other was at a local park called Kajino Koen. The Kahjino event hosted lots of local groups that support the park, like Play Park: a local adventure play organization that facilitates weekly play events for children.
Play Park built an amazingly tall and steep wooden slide with wooden handholds, as well as over-sized hammocks, rope walkways, and braided swings. I’m in love with the work that they do and I’m hoping to deepen my relationship with their community in the coming year.
A few things I learned this week:
When my daughter was about 18 months old, we went on a trip to an island off of Tokyo’s coast called Shikinejima. It was the off season, most restaurants were closed and we were sleeping in a tent.
We ended up doing a lot of shopping at convenience stores, eating meals of: apples, Oreos, cans of hot cocoa, and cans of tuna fish, and were even gifted a fresh bag of assorted seafood from a local fisherman, which we hesitantly attempted to cook over a fire… Maybe you’ve had a similarly strange almost-camping experience?
One of the shop keepers, a little old man who was so enamored with our daughter and her blond hair, kindly gave her a red plastic 3D heart pendant which had a light inside that would blink on and off.
It was one of those toys with sticking power, and became well-worn and well-loved over the next year and a half- that is until the battery died.
My daughter approved. She loves being able to open and close the locket. We’re now working together to make something similar as a Valentine’s Day present for the grandparents. Definitely not afraid to share the cardboard love….
A few photos from our first ever, open-to-the-Tokyo-public, cardboard pop-up play day.
We ran the event with just recycled cardboard, a few tools, bike power, and creative spirit.
Neighboring Ito Yokado kindly helped us bring many beautiful boxes over from their store (including the fantastic red stuff which was left over from New Year’s postcard displays) and MakeDo pieces were lent to us by the American School of Japan.
We assembled these incredible Wind-balls prior to the play day, with Tanaka Satoshi’s design plans that you can get here. Just plain fun. We’ve now got the smaller one up as a lampshade in the girls’ room and it’s gorgeous.
The highlight of the day was seeing parents and children building together. Once my Japanese teacher helped me to write a sign in Japanese inviting everyone to play freely, they all started getting to it. Little houses, castles, tunnels, trains and forts….it’s all poetry to me.
The same box on wheels that I made about 8 months ago (and flew back and forth from the US with) withstood countless laps on the concrete around the grass patch. I’m thinking we could do a great pop-up based on these alone….where to reclaim some old wheels????
Thanks to my friends from MIA, my husband (who even made dinner after we got home) and Chris B of a small lab for coming out, bearing the cold, taking pictures (many of which you see here) and wrangling cardboard with us at the end. A true labor of cardboard love! I really appreciate your support.
I’m looking forward to hosting more pop-ups and play days in 2013 so stay tuned for more info on where we’ll be next…
….of course I hope you’ll consider having a few cardboard pop-ups in your own home in the meantime?
While I’m busy organizing an event here in Tokyo and getting ready to unleash our first cardboard challenge here on The Cardboard Collective, I wanted to get the word out to all of you so that you can get the ball rolling in your neck of the woods.
We would love to publicize your event here on The Cardboard Collective as well, so this is an invitation to all of you cardboard creatives out there….Will you join me?