Category Archives: live young at the evian playground

Remembrance of Things Past – Playing in London

The first wave of commuters have already done their thing at Canary Wharf’s temporary ‘live young evian playground’. Their gamboling about on a spontaneous break as they make their way to work or school has set off snow machines and for many triggered crisp memories of past play escapades.

Tufnell Park Primary SchoolTufnell Park Primary School, London – 1955. Source – City of London.

From the outside looking in, London is a great city of play. Distinguishing characteristics include its adventure playgrounds scattered throughout the city, a top notch organization, London Play, that advocates on behalf of children and families and likely the highest concentration of playworkers anywhere in the world (a great interview with Penny Wilson on play philosophy of playworkers).

Vauxhall Primary SchoolVauxhall Primary School, London – 1965. Source – City of London.

But there is still a need for action in support of play in the UK’s largest city.

Nearly half of children in London surveyed say they do not play out as much as they like. London Play aims for every child in the city to have high quality, accessible and inclusive play opportunities. London Play campaigns for more and improved play spaces and services, and support playwork in the capital.

Ainsworth Nursery School PlaygroundAinsworth Nursery School, London – 1972. Source – City of London.

This morning in Battersea, Wandsworth Against Cuts is occupying the Battersea Park Adventure Playground in a last ditch effort to save it from demolition. Click through here for a story that ran last night on ITV’s London Tonight reporting on the occupation.

Battersea Adventure Playground - ITV

A call to action to London commuters enjoying a spot of play over the next few days at the Canary Wharf and Finsbury Park ‘live young evian playgrounds’ – play needs your active support and participation. Get out and play with your kids, empower them to play outdoors on their own, support organizations like London Play, Play England and your local adventure playground. Ask your elected representative what they’ve done for play lately.

Laycock Primary SchoolLaycock Primary School, London – 1974. Source – City of London.

Commuters, remember your days of childhood play – adventure, imagination, discovery, friendship and fun and think about what you can do for play.

Danone, great play branding on the ‘live young’ campaign. The evian playground promotion presents an excellent opportunity for Danone to determine how it can contribute to improving the play possibilities of children throughout the world. What a leading edge, corporately social responsible engagement that could be – a great addition to other good works the firm supports such as the Danone Ecosystem Fund.

For more images of play in London check this 2012 pictorial in The Mail Online – wonderful images.

Today’s last words, and squeals of excitement, on play in London go back to 1963 and the first filmings of the Seven Up! series by acclaimed British director, Michael Apted.

London UK – Thirsting for Play

Remember the YouTube Roller Babies craze? The folks at evian are back. Later this month, the mineral water behemoth is inviting Londoners to ‘live young at the evian playground’.

For a brief window of time at locations outside the Canary Wharf tube station (January 7 – 9) and Finsbury Avenue Square (January 10 – 11), commuters will be able to take a load off and reconnect with their childhood. Swings and see-saws will propel the players through winter skies and trigger snow machines generating micro-localized flurries.

It will be interesting to see how well this play travels the social media circuit. There is great potential for fun and fine photos, video and commentary. All the better if this living advertising on a public stage brings more focus to the value of play for adults and kids. Watch for more on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms in a campaign organized by Havas Worldwide with social powered by we are social.

Evian, when you’re done with the equipment London side, could you send it across the pond to your Nova Scotia cousins? We’ve had a right miserable winter drought here and could use the machines to generate some snow in our backyard all whilst enjoying a good swing and teeter-totter. Of course, we’d make them available as a community resource.

All the best to those London commuters who choose living and playing young. Just one thought before we leave this topic – any chance of modeling a makeshift slide on those Canary Wharf escalators? Talk about getting to work on a wing and a prayer. May the smile be with you…

3174829808_9e6fc525bd_bPhoto credit – Okko Pyykkö. License – CC BY 2.0.