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play by philippa

a blog about all things play

So yes, I know, it has been a while (a whole year and 2 months).  After all this time with no new posts it is assumed that I must of kept myself pretty busy for a whole year, and, well I guess I have.

One the main reasons why my posts failed to appear on ‘Play by Philippa’ is that I became a full-fledging, brief case carrying, Sales Executive again. I began working for a company that has been importing high quality Playground Equipment from Europe for 10 years and now more recently from America.

I was very proud to say that during my time at that company I have never worked so hard, attending meetings, submitting tenders and driving round the great state of NSW, with only enough energy at night to change television stations. Though that’s no excuse, I should be able to have a full time job and write a blog at the same time, loads of people have achieved that feat. So I promise to make it up to my readers, family, friends and ex colleagues, thanks for reading.

However all good salaries must come to end and I have just recently taken the big plunge by starting my own business, an ABN has been acquired and ‘Play by Philippa’ is officially a registered business name. Hooray!

I am so excited to start something I have been so passionate about for so long, and that’s creating wonderful outdoor play spaces concentrating on natural play and organic and sustainable design.

It has been discussed among many leading professionals in the play industry, that today’s kids do not get enough time to actually play as kids outside. Many children, such as those that live in urban centres, do not receive regular exposure to natural environments, such as farms and bushland, and it has been proven that children that miss out on these experiences do miss out on long term benefits.

‘Play by Philippa’ will aim to convert the everyday playground from ultra-safe, sterile spaces to creative, organic and magical environments that little people will adore and remember with fondness as adults. This blog will still be used as an outlet to express my views about the changing play industry and the new, unreal and fantastic playgrounds as well as the people who have made them possible.

Stay tuned, so much is happening for ‘Play by Philippa’ and I look forward to sharing it with you.



Found this swanky swing on inhabitots,  the baby / parenting focused website from the Inhabitat family. I have already looked throughout the website and have really enjoyed the resources it has to offer, I particularly appreciate the inhabitots motto “Sustainable design for the next generation“.

The Leaf Swings are produced by enessentia, a Madrid based design firm founded by Veronica Martínez, and come in two varieties. Autumn Leaf is limited edition cast aluminium and can be ordered in other RAL colours. The sculpture is inspired by falling leaves in Autumn and comfortably supports up to 200kg.

The natural version of the leaf swing is made by “Spanish artisans in solid Cerejeira wood (South american Oak).” Colours of rope include red, black, navy, white and hemp. I would love to purchase one of these for myself or future backyard however I don’t have a good tree at the moment or a spare AUS$740 lying around.

Thank you Inhabitots and enessentia for the images.

Give a kid a sticker an idea by Yayoi Kusama when she invites children to transform a white room or blank canvas using brightly coloured stickers as part of her installation The Obliteration Room  at the Queensland Art Gallery for Kids. The Obliteration Room as part of the  exhibition Look Now, See Forever runs until March 12th, though the space is constantly evolving through the application of thousands of stickers by children everyday, each with their own individual style of application. By allowing kids to use their imagination and stick down these permanent circles, you achieve this explosion of colour or obliteration of the once white room, and by looking closely you can actually see individual expressions made by participants.

I’m sure it’s agreed that by giving children creative freedom the result is always suprsing and truely fantastic.

Thank you to this collosal for their images you can visit their website here. Thank you also to my friend Chris for getting me on to this.

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Well Happy 2012! I know that it has been a while since my last post and I know going overseas and having an awesome time is absolutely no excuse. But since you asked, I spent my holiday in Fernie, Bristish Columbia, and while there I did make sure to pay attention to the outside play opportunities in the town. Fernie, including it’s playgrounds spends most of winter under snow, I was most impressed however by an amazing local tree house I saw and a very Canadian backyard equipped with ice rink, rock climbing wall, tube slide and Tyre swing – lucky kids.

During a day trip into Montana, I managed to take a couple of snaps of the Russell School Adventureland Playground in Kalispel. This crazy wooden playground included play elements such as a wooden rocket and T – Rex slide. I am so glad we stopped to take a photos of this one as it’s an absolute beauty and definitely not the standard ‘off the shelf’ playground. Thankyou to Dana  at Calgary Playground Review  for the extra photos.

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The NY Times recently featured this charming treehouse built by an interior designer from New Orleans by the name of Alexandra Meyn.

There is just so much I love about this Treehouse, firstly how is it designed and styled as its own individual space with “pink bats on the wall, and glass windows that dangle on the ground-floor level like earrings”. I also love how the Treehouse is used as a place of refuge and escape from the city and decorated with treasures just like a child’s special place. However I think what has inspired me most is how this Treehouse was built to brighten Alexandra’s spirits and a way for her to showcase her unique style. Alexandra gave herself a $400 Budget for the construction and taught herself valuable design skills such as turning her blueprint into reality and sourcing pre-loved building supplies, like finding doors and windows on the street and  having paint and floorboards supplied by Build It Green in Queens.

I have been incredibly inspired by this Treehouse and I hope you were too. You can read the full article from the NY Times and more for information about Alexandra Meyn please visit her website.

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While in Sydney City recently with a friend we came across this street art outside the Queen Victoria Building. My initial impression of the squares with numbers is that it was a giant hopscotch, however it doesn’t look like any hopscotch I have ever played on. I then presumed that the hot pink squares and numbers might have something to do with Sydney Art and About. What I did love about the sporadic hopscotch is that it provided a unique play instrument in such a busy urban environment. However I was disappointed to observe that only children seemed bold enough to play so publically. Why can’t we provide more sporadic play instruments in the cities, such as hopscotch’s and Double Happiness (below), wouldn’t forcing play into everyday situations provide a quick break from reality and wouldn’t this result in fresh outlooks and happier people?

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Wouldn’t it great to transfer every old billboard in this way? Yes i know it looks completely unsafe, but the idea is completely inspired.  The artists/architects from Mesarchitecture  aim to provide a welcome break from the modern urban space, for two people,  by providing a ‘urban reanimation device’ that although risky allows a new perception of the city to develop.  The idea is that “they will both escape and dominate public space through a game of equilibrium and desequilibrium.”

Double Happiness reminds me of when I would swing upside down in my own backyard, and viewing my surroundings from this angle would create a whole new perception of the world.

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