Despite my week-old status as a Giant of Buffalo Advertising, it is with humility that I acknowledge I'm not even the most creative person in my house. That would be my undeniably better half, Melissa Leopard, who is known to many as an innovative educator and ecstatic proponent of learning through play.
This work of hers began, like lots of interesting things these days, as a result of a TED lecture. She's been fascinated with the educational approach of Tinkering School since seeing a talk by its founder, Gever Tulley. Tinkering School actively encourages little kids to do things like lick batteries, put pennies on train tracks, and mess around with power tools. And kids go absolutely crazy for it. The trust they're given turns into confidence as they set about busily solving problems and building things.
Melissa has done some work with Gever and, as founder of Tinkering School Buffalo, has made friends with like-minded, playful pedagogues from around the world. Two from the UK, Morgan Leichter-Saxby and Suzanna Law of Pop-Up Adventure Play, are coming to Buffalo as part of their first-ever US tour.
On April 9, they'll be holding a discussion entitled "The Playgrounds Children Build for Themselves" at Burchfield Penney Art Center. And on April 10, those ideas will be put into action at a POP-UP Adventure Play Day in the Burchfield Penney's Front Yard from 3-5 pm.
To promote and commemorate this event, I made the poster below. No money changed hands, but it did get me out of doing the dishes.