Google+ bakers and astronauts: Embarking

20 March 2013


After a little shameless self-promotion on Facebook, the Bakers and Astronauts page reached 600 likes yesterday, and true to my promise, I'm going to share something special with you.

In the next few months, I will be starting to dedicate some of my time to a project I'm calling Play Lab.  Play Lab has been brewing around in my head for a while now, and I'm at a place where I can make it come to life!

Play Lab is inspired by wonderful spaces for children, participatory design, and open-ended exploration.  Over the past year, I have loved seeing images from Pop-Up playgrounds that have happened all over the world, and Play Lab will ideally begin as a series of community play experiences, popping up around northwest Washington state with beautiful stuff for people to interact with.  I'm picturing my role as a curator of beautiful stuff and documenter of people at play.  I'm aiming to have events/installations that are highly interactive, and also create documentation that I share with visitors and community members for reflection.

Most of my free time in the past few months has been dedicated to dreaming about this project, and taking some initial steps to make it come true.  I've created a website with its own little blog, made some business cards (inspired by The Cardboard Collective), and begun to gather materials from generous community members.  What is still up in the air is when and where it will begin!

I have always been shy about sharing project ideas - I always assume that if they fail, I will be embarrassed.  There are still only a handful of people in my "normal life" who know that I have been writing here for five years!  Writing about early childhood education is difficult for me to explain; and explaining Play Lab is proving to be even harder.  My assumption is that many of you can read my explanation above and picture Play Lab, but I'm finding it hard to share these plans in everyday conversation.  I may be getting closer to the explanation, but I'm looking forward to being able to answer people's questions with images and documentation of the first events!

I've been lucky enough to pick the brains of a few people, many of whom I hope I can collaborate with in the future.  As Play Lab starts to become a reality, I'm sure I'll be sharing the inspirational work of others who have done this work before me!

Interested?  I'm glad!  Please leave a comment here, or send me a message using the Play Lab website.  I'm very interested to know if any of you in Western Washington have a location/event idea!  I'm based in Bellingham, but am hoping to do events anywhere between Seattle and Vancouver, including the islands!  I definitely welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and kindly worded advice.

I'm climbing little mountains each day to make this happen, and being brave enough to be open with people about this idea is a BIG one for me.  So thanks for reading and supporting!

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