Pop-Up Cardboard Play Day #7

Featured

The Cardboard Collective: Pop Up Cardboard Play Day #7 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Global, cardboard, play, day, pop, up, Caine's, Arcade, Challenge

Another cardboard adventure out in the park!

This time I learned something important.

I love DEconstruction,

but

not destruction.

The kids that came out to play built a fun labyrinth of houses/caves and then slowly took the whole thing apart. It was really great just watching them. I saw a two year old saw cardboard for about an hour straight. In the same groove. I loved it.

Later in the week I took just the Windballs to another park to play, and a few teenage boys kicked them around a bit. It was good, I was glad to see them enjoying them, but then they just stomped on them, shattering the MakeDos to bits before running off.  I didn’t love it. My teacher voice came out.

Did you see the adorable pink cardboard kitchen that I found at the grocery store where I sourced all the cardboard?

Cardboard Play Day at Kujira Yama (#6)

Featured

 

Cardboard Kryptonite!
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!

Cardboard Costume Challenge 2013!

Featured

CCC 2013 the cardboard collective

YYYYEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!  Today is the Kick-off  for The 2nd Annual Cardboard Costume Challenge!

The Mission? to inspire the making of awesome handmade cardboard costumes.

My secret agenda? Help parents reconnect with their kids (and themselves) through making…. and my even more secret agenda, rid the earth of flimsy, flame-retardant Halloween costumes destined for the landfill.

I decided that this year I wanted to adopt a non-commercial, non-competitive approach (less contest, more spirit tunnel) AND I wanted to make the event more kid-centered (it’s such a valuable design opportunity for kids.) I also wanted to encourage adults, who maybe don’t own a sewing machine, or don’t think of themselves as “creative” to branch out and try dabbling in cardboard.

Cardboard Cowboys by Leelada via Flickr

My own creative mother found the costumes entered last year so amazing she said she was too intimidated to attempt a cardboard costume! This year there won’t be any categories, sponsors, or prizes…..just an event for sharing cardboard enthusiasm and the love of making!

So what do you think? Sound interesting? You can follow posts and tutorials throughout the month of October centered around topics like cardboard hats, masks, accessories, and other costume extras plus info about tools, tips for working with cardboard, and moving from idea to finished costume.

Upload pictures of your costume in progress (as well as completed) HERE in the Flickr community and access past tutorials HERE.

P.S.

There are a few prize related contests and opportunities out there that you should know about if you would like to enter a competition (with some pretty substantial loot.) We’ll definitely be rooting for you!

Inhabitat Green Halloween Costume Contest (adults)

Inhabitot Green Halloween Costume Contest (kids)

DIY’s Cardboarder Badge

See you soon!

 

Cardboard Play Day at Kujira Yama

Featured

This Friday the adventure playground Play Park will be hosting us for a “Cardboard Play Day” to celebrate the Global Cardboard Challenge. We’re praying for sun, since a rain day will mean re-scheduling, but either way preparations are in the works for an amazing day.

Cardboard Play Day with The Cardboard Collective

Play Park is part of an incredible, volunteer supported NGO (NPO) called Asobiba that operates a variety of permanent and temporary adventure playgrounds throughout Tokyo. I’m so excited to work with them and hope to bring cardboard play into their adventure play repertoire in the future!

Cardboard Play Day with The Cardboard Collective

If you’re free, and you’re in Tokyo, please join us!

武蔵野公園  クジラ山

Location: Musashino Park’s Whale Mountain
プレー  パーク
October 4, 2013
2013年 10月 4日
FREE 無料
12pm-5pm 午前12時 – 午後5時
Rainy Day = canceled
雨降りの日 = 取消

 

10 Tips for Cardboard Play Day

Featured

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!

  • Provide a wide variety of cardboard! Shoe boxes, small boxes, over-sized boxes, cardboard tubes, and whatever other reclaimed materials you’ve collected all add to the diversity and creativity of what kids create.
  • A rule of thumb that I follow is 1 square meter of cardboard for every 20-30 kids

2. Don’t let cardboard get unruly.

  • Cardboard + kids can = chaos!
  • Keep the cardboard upright if you can (as if each piece were a book on a book shelf.) That way there is thought in selecting the cardboard and it doesn’t get kicked around and stepped on.
  • It’s even more helpful to organize your cardboard by size. (Think of a lumber yard.) Kids often know what size materials they need and if the cardboard is organized then kids won’t have to spend time rooting around through big piles to get what they want.

3. Give them tool boxes.

  • Tool boxes allow kids to be mobile and have everything they need to build whatever, wherever, with whoever.
  • A tool box can be as simple as a shoe box, or a cardboard six pack.
  • Provide a place that is clearly marked for kids to return tool boxes when they’re finished working or ready to leave the play day.

4. Provide a secure area for kids to keep their stuff (i.e. coat check).

  • Kids easily loose track of their new friendship bracelet, cell phone, hooded sweatshirt, etc.
  • Create a place (as simple as a “drop” pile), or even better an informal system like a coat check, for keeping track of kids’ things so they can focus on building and collaborating with their friends, and you can alleviate the hassle of having to help them search for their lost items.

5. Keep the organizer free.

  • If you are organizing a cardboard play day, recruit enough parent volunteers to assist kids so you’re free to trouble shoot any problems that might pop up.
  • Parents get excited and often want to share or ask questions. If you’re responsibility is to supervise kids, you may be torn between providing adequate supervision and having a great conversation with a future cardboard enthusiast.
  • It’s also helpful to have a volunteer that is solely devoted to taking photos so you have some great shots for promoting your event next year.

6. Provide a theme/give permission

  • Telling kids that they can build whatever they want is exhilarating for some and overwhelming for others.
  • Providing a theme a invites collaboration and helps kids narrow their focus….
  • We’re building a village….
  • We’re building igloos….
  • We’re building a cardboard maze….
  • We’re making cardboard costumes….
  • We’re making an arcade….
  • It’s a cardboard ocean!
  • Some kids need permission to create and many just want to be told it’s OK to be creative and let loose. Indulge them! This is their time to think big and we want to encourage them in any way we can.

7. Give kids real tools.

  • It’s important to gauge your audience, (parents kids and the host institution) when deciding what kind of tools you’re going to make available to participants. I prefer to always give kids “real tools” as opposed to dumbed down versions that can cause frustration. In the real world, however that’s not always possible.
  • If kids are only allowed to use safety scissors and plastic saws, try arming your adult volunteers with more professional tools that can help finish the job. These are the tools I’ve found to be most effective and in my opinion entirely kid-friendly, but they require instruction and adult supervision:
  • round tipped serrated cutting tool
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • scissors
  • cordless drill

8. Use reusable fasteners.

  • To build really cool, big stuff out of cardboard you need some kind of fastener to hold everything together. (tape and hot glue just don’t cut it!) There are 3 that stand out in my opinion, based on their re-usability AND functionality.
  • MakeDo
  • re-usable zip ties
  • nuts and bolts
  • All of these fasteners have different price points and advantages and disadvantages, so I really recommend getting a few of each and test driving them at home before your event.
  • It’s really helpful to show participants how the fastener you’re using works when kids arrive, so keep some supplies in your pocket to quickly demonstrate as you greet new arrivals.

9. Have an exit strategy.

  • Sometimes kids are so excited at cardboard play day, they can’t stop building! Givie kids a heads-up starting 30 minutes before cleanup, so they can get focused on completion and get ready to say goodbye to their creations.
  • Make sure you have a plan for recycling your cardboard. I was once left in a terrible position at a play day, when the organization that donated the cardboard said they could no longer take it back! I had to haul it all back to my home by bike and then put it out for recycling over a course of several weeks!
  • If you haven’t prearranged volunteers for cleaning up and bundling cardboard at the end of your event, a clipboard signup is handy when participants arrive and usually provides you with enough hands to finish the job.

10. Get feedback.

  • This is something new I’m hoping to try this year; a one sentence question for kids as they’re cleaning up or heading out…. you  could also try a paper-pencil survey or even a simple high five?
  • What would you build next time?
  • Is it more fun to work by yourself, with your mom and dad, or with a friend?
  • What was the best part about today?
  • Have you ever made/built something like this? Why/Why not?
  • See you next year?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cardboard Day of Play: Tokyo

What can I say? I’m exhausted, but smiling away as I type this…The energy and enthusiasm of the kids that came out to play was incredible. Their creations- inventive, ridiculous, beautiful, fun- gave me that electric feeling of seeing creative minds at work.

My favorite moment of the day was peeking inside the doorway of a cardboard tunnel to discover a secret shelf holding an overflowing treasure pot of candy collected from the Homecoming Day festivities. It felt a lot like discovering a squirrel’s cache of acorns hastily piled up for winter in the hidden nook of a tree…

I can’t leave without  extending my sincerest thanks to the American School in Japan staff and parent volunteers for working to make the Day of Cardboard Play happen. I also send a deep bow to MakeDo Japan for donating MakeDo kits (that the kids had a blast with) and last but not least, Tanaka Satoshi for all his help and inspiration. You can see his signature work in the video clip below.

[vimeo 51344987 w=620&h=400]

Back again tomorrow with more cardboard costume ideas. Can’t wait to see more of the pictures that are trickling into the Flickr pool…..Hey, why don’t you go ahead and upload yours right now?

 

Will You Join Me? A Global Cardboard Challenge

Have you heard the news? The Imagination Foundation, (the people behind the short film, Caine’s Arcade) are hosting a global day of cardboard play!

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.

The Imagination Foundation has put together organizing kits with resources and ideas for hosting an event in your community.

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?