Category Archives: ABCs for Play

Popular PlayGroundology Posts Year II Revisited

This is my second and final act of self indulgence vis à vis rebroadcasting PlayGroundology posts from year two. I think each of the four embody the magic and wonderful possibilities of the interweb whether they relate to researching, sharing, or collaborating. I hope you’ll enjoy these offerings. Thanks for visiting PlayGroundology.

Newsreel Playgrounds – British Pathé

Thanks to the assignment editors, producers and cinematographers at British Pathé for this selection of playgroundabilia ranging from 1939 to 1967 in various UK locales.

Click on the image to be taken to the play page. Clips can be played at full screen and each has a detailed shot list. Enjoy and thanks again to British Pathé for making their inventory available for public viewing.

Bolton Schoolyard Playground – 1939 – Runtime: 00:50

In all, there are five vignettes to enjoy. This spring I am planning a guest post on the British Pathé blog about these visual treasures and any others that I can source. More…

Flickr Blog Features PlayGroundology Curated Photos

Click photo to enlarge

What a pleasant surprise when I discovered that the Flickr blog had featured some photos curated by PlayGroundology in a flickr gallery entitled Swedish Aesthetic.

I never tire of thanking the photographers who post their images to flickr. Curating photos using the gallery function is nothing short of a gift. More…

Seven Up! meets Adventure Playground

I came across a reference earlier this week to the adventure playground scene in the British documentary Seven Up!. The ongoing popularity of this television documentary made it relatively easy to find on the wonderbox as I sometimes call the internet. The acceleration of the opening sequence is zippingly exhilarting. More…

ABCs for Play – Call and Answer

Starting this morning and ending on Christmas Day, PlayGroundology will be going through the alphabet one letter per day and asking people to submit their favourite words related to play for that letter.

PlayGroundology will send out a tweet ‘call’ each morning with some of its favourites and wait to receive ‘answers’ from others with their favourite play words for the letter of the day.

It was a great participatory game with wordplay and playwords galore. The A through Z results, ranging from 20 to 60 words per letter are posted on PlayGroundology. More…

Thanks for the ABC Memories

Thanks to everyone for participating in ABCs4Play. Over 26 consecutive days 70 players from Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the US and Canada had some fun with wordplay for playwords. Amongst this group were landscape architects, educators, authors, play advocates and students. The game generated somewhere in excess of 700 tweets and over 8,000 page views on the PlayGroundology blog. I haven’t had a chance yet for an actual count but I think it would be safe to say that from A to Z we pulled in 2,000 to 2,500 words.

ABCs puzzle

I was very excited with the pick up and level of play. I had no idea what to anticipate at the outset but as it turns out, the number of players was just right. In fact, it was the maximum that I could handle in the couple of hours a day I had to dedicate to the game each day.

But it’s not really the numbers that tell the story. Each day was like Christmas with new words to unwrap. I’d check the hashtag #ABCs4Play to see what came in overnight from twitter friends (old and new), email and blogpost comments. I was never disappointed. There were always new words (for me), witty combinations, alliteration a go go and yes, on a few occasions – poetry. If you haven’t had a chance to browse through the submissions, I invite you to do so. Each letter of the alphabet has its own post right here at PlayGroundology.

The last post for ABCs4Play was just four days ago but it seems so far away. Truth be told, I’m experiencing a wee bit of withdrawal from a fun activity. Are there any readers who would like to give me a hand designing an ABCs4Play ebook? I think we have enough material to work with and it would be a fun project to let loose on the world for free. If you’re interested in the ebook idea, contact me through twitter @PlayGroundology, or by email –

Speaking of withdrawal, it’s fortunate that my fellow ABCs4Play alphabeteer Sue Atkins has just started up ABCWonderful Kids. It’s easy to play. Start with – My Child is……. fill in the blank each day with a word starting with the letter of the day. This is Day 2, Letter B. You can check out Sue in twitterville – @SueAtkins. The hashtag for this ABC game is #ABCWonderfulKids.

Now if you’re handy with boxes, get a submission ready for the #XmasBoxChallenge another fun, play idea from the Grass Stain Guru. Submissions close on January 2, 2012.

Is there a better use for a box?

Enjoy the New Year wherever you may be.

Z is for a ZigZag of Zesty Zinnias

Zulu zippity do dah zebra zinnia zumba zest zoo zapper zigzag and now time for ZZZZZs Zoom Zoom-ball zipwire! Zoids zoinks (as shaggy and scooby would say) zombies zits zealots zip zero zoom zeal zapped zed zippy zinger zany zonked

This is the end of the zipline for our ABCs4Play. It’s been a fun 26 days posting all the submissions and tweeting away like little alphabet birds.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to play and to those who have dropped by to read our collective offerings letter by letter and word by word.

Over the next two or three days, I’ll do a wrap up post on how it looks from my end. I’d love to hear your thoughts too on how you enjoyed the game and on how it could be refined.

So for now, ABCs4Play – wordplay-playwords – is going Zzzzzzzs.

Y is for Yellow Brick Road and Yodeling Yabba-Dabba-Do

Y is Why yellow yak yakking yacht yabba dabba do yeilding yolk yoke yippie i ay yippie oh, yes! Yolanda yawned yelling “Your Yardstick’s Yellow” you your yoyo yoga yum yelling yawn yahoo! Yoda yodeling yellow brick road yachts Yogi bear youtube youth “you’re it!” yahtzee yoghurt pots yelling yippee yazoo yahoo ya-ba-da-ba-doooo yessssss young youthful yelp yearn yarn yuletide yogis yeti yard Yo-ho-ho and a bottle rum Yule logs candied yams yum, yum, yum

Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road

Thanks to all the players who were able to set aside a little time and send their Ys on Christmas Eve Day. A wonderful Yuletide present for ABCs4Play.

Today is Day 26 of our ABCs4Play Challenge. We wrap it with two postings today – ‘Y’ and ‘Z’.

X is for Xylophone, eXcited and Xanadu

xenogenesis: generation of offspring entirely unlike the parent! what about X aleX? Xtreme Xtraordinary Xceptional Xtraterrestrial Xamination X marks the spot 0s and Xs Xena Warrior Princess x-ray glasses xylophones Xmas Xylography – when X ‘cuts’ the spot! In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree X is for eXcited to play and sad to eXit the playground Xamining Xchanging ideas Xultation X-treme X-Men Xena Xenophon Xanthic Xebec (4 pirate games!) Xenogenous Xenomorphic Xyston X-box! Xerox

Who knew there was such a group as Xylopholks?

Thanks to UK Kath for some free verse/free association X factors:

eXploring – X marks the spot
eXcellent – Xyloid Xylophone
eXcursion – sailing a xebec to Xanadu
eXercise – Xanthe running on the Xystus
eXhibition – X-ray of a Xenops
eXceptional – Xavier’s X-men
eXtraordinary – Xanthic Xylocarp

We’re now into Day 25, Letter Y. Have fun – ABCs4Play. Just one more day to go. After Zed we put her to bed.

Merry Christmas Eve all. ABCs4Play has been a fun gift for us to share.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….

W is for Wild Things, Wishing Well and Wonder

Winnicott DW wild things weird & wonderful water woods wooden swords/forts/soldiers Wombles wow! weapons wish whizz wisdom worms weaseling whoosh weeeeeee! wombats wargames wheelies wellie wanging wheels whale watching walnuts white water rafting walrus wishing well winter wonderland watch weather world whimsical wonderful words weevos! wonderment! whizzing down slides! wobble pods! Wow! winter (all) weather wild wonder wander walkie talkies wikki stiks wagon wood(en) weebles wobble but they don’t fall down! My W words are two of the most dreaded bully acts on the playground – the Wet Willie and the Wedgie wibble wobble waltzing wallop wandering walking walkabout wilting withering winking wondering wussy wistful wishes water wheels wishing wildwood wishful wondrous whizzy whizzy woo wasteland wrangling wriggle wash whoosh willful welcome whistling wacky wading wiggle waggle water play waterproofs waving waterfalls

Video adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are

This is an update, a wonderful poem by Kath Hamper. Sorry for not including this earlier Kath. This is compiled early in the morning and although I had seen it, I don’t get many email submissions – so it slipped by. Thanks so much for this piece.

Welcome, wondering wanderers!

Woven willows wave, wreathed with willowherb.

Watering, weeding, willing to work
Wheelbarrows writhing with wriggly worms.
Wetland with willows, winter-white world
Whooper swan winging, waterweeds furled.
Whimsical woodpile, woodlouse and wren,
Whisker of woodmouse, water-boatmen.

Waterproofs, wellingtons, windblown and wild,
Windmills and weather-vanes whistle and whizz.
Watching through windows, wishing for when
We walk in the woodland, wild weather again.

Weighing wastepaper while watching for wobbly wombats

Wand-waving witches, wizards with wings
Wondrous wardrobes, wool-gathering.
Word-play and writing
Wondrous and weird
Westward the wagons! We’re off Wombling….

Many thanks for all the fine Ws. X will be a bit of a stumper I think. Including today, only 3 days left. We’re in the final lap.

We’re now into Day 24, Letter X. Have fun – ABCs4Play.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….

V is for Vroom, Vroom, Vuvuzela and Van Eyck

vegetables vixen Vincent van Gogh viper vines viscosity vigor Virgo voice volume vortex vertigo from climbing way up high valuable venting vivid vuvuzela! vigorous vigor vim vital vitality virtue valuable vibrant venture velocity vibrations vandals Van Eyck, Aldo: visionary Dutch architect viewpoint vivacious victorious v is for very very very very very very very very fun! volleyball visiting play spaces! vessel vivid (colours, imaginations and memories!) vocal velociraptors vertical climbs village green versatile vibrant variable vital for our survival vacation vacillate vacuum flask Vader (as in D’arth) vainglorious vampires vamoose vanilla ice cream vaporise vembrace Visi Goths vandalism vaulting vengeance verbal visceral vengeance victorious vicarious Vroom-Vroom non-violent vikings vegimite vanish visit violets vegetation veg out vacant lot victory vanquished vociferous V is the roman numeral for 5 which i will count to before chasing you volunteer Vincent Lugo Park vernacular

Welcome to Marcus from PlaygroundIDEAS who is playing by email. A special mention for one of his submissions – volunteer – which so many do in the world of play.

Welcome back to Morgan @PopUpPlayShop. Hope you can hang with us for the next four days.

A special call out today to Jonathan @Magpiestear for his versatile selection of Vs.

We’re now into Day 23, Letter W. Have fun – ABCs4Play – just 1 week to go.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….

U is for Up, Up and Away

up, up, and away umbrellas twirling in the rain unbridled enthusiasm uninhibited! u is for underpants on the outside of your trousers! upside-down, the only way to hang in trees underground dens understanding ourselves understanding others! under then up! ummmph..roll that log.. unearthed bugs.. ugg gooey ground yay unique play! u, you and ewe unique unicorns unicycle Utopia Uganda uniform Uturn U2 united ukelele uno useful undulating terrain universal UNCRC Article 31! undercover unifying undervalued! urge umpa lumpahs U is no cause for ululation U is for ulu, my favourite word Umiaks and uluit are useful to the Inuit ubiquitous underrated ultrafantabulous ultimate unapologetic uh-oh u is for Underground as in the Secret Underground on Bloomers! Island UPHIGH on climbing frame! UPHIGH in the tree!

Umbrella Flash Mob – Seattle, USA

Welcome to Joy @JoyKuebler. Hope you’ll be able to hang with us to the final Z.

We’re closing in on the end of the ehbeezeedom trail and the tail end of the alphabet is quite a bit more challenging.

We’re now into Day 22, Letter V. Have fun – ABCs4Play – just 1 week to go.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….

T is for Teetering, Tottering, Testing and Tumbling

tea time trekking toasting marshmallows tiggy talking tongue twisters tumbling turtles toads two up tomboy tennis tumbling tag tearing around tightrope teeter totter top topple tug-o-war tent tea party treehouse trampoline teaching tool timeless! Tiny Tim taught the tango tactfully trees tires trikes trucks trips toboggan tubing testing treat trounce tilt tweet torque tire swing twirl tumble test tiptoe tricycle tea parties trains team trust and time T is tiptoe through the tulips! tree climbing, tree houses, tree swing – ABC meet one two tree TIME to play tents tickles toys trampolines tricks and treats tunnels towers throwing

Teeter-totters at rest – Montreal, Canada

Trees are a recurring theme today. Chris Gregory from @chrisplayiom knows of what he speaks. Check out his guerilla tree swings caper.

We’re now into Day 21, Letter U. Have fun – ABCs4Play – just 1 week to go.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….

S is for Sand, Snow, Splash and Spin

swim swings splashing snowdrops snow snow ball fights snowmen sledding shouting smiles slides seaside sand castles starfish shells sailing ships surfing sealions seals swimming sharks saturday sunday skate sunshine sliding slipping swing stamping snowing singing skip spin scoop socialize stomp splash swish step sing sense stick shovels sand songs space stickers snuggles sensory play siblings skills soccer sticky squirm snow days there was only ever going to be one “S” the best play item in the world is is of course… The mighty STICK! Small silly Sally saw Sam smiling standing sideways sawing sandwiches Sunday spades skateboards scooters Santa subversive substantive sublime swings see-saw shovels space skipping super slimy stomp spy silly putty smart skateboard silly shrinky dinks skating skateboarding scuffed shoes swirling skimming stones singing songs sun sea silliness salubrious Sutton-Smith B Sturrock G Smith P super soakers

Swings, Ship, Slide, Sand, Sky – Magdalen Islands, Canada – click to enlarge

I’m all smiles for this thematic salty sea submission from @miriambauman:

Seaside, sand castles, starfish, shells, sailing, ships, surfing, sealions, seals, swimming, sharks, smiles

We’re now into Day 20, Letter T. Have fun – ABCs4Play – just 1 week to go.

Join us at #ABCs4Play easy as 1, 2, 3….