Adventure Play & Playwork @ ICG


Play....the research of childhood

We all know that children need fun opportunities to get outside and connect with nature in hands-on and bodies-on ways using all their senses. Whether you call it adventure play, risky play, rough and tumble play, nature play, or free play, kids need the time and space to direct their own play for physical, cognitive, and social-emotional health. In-school and out of school hours are drastically more programmed today than just 20 years ago, leaving less time for kids to explore their own worlds on their own terms, and less opportunity to develop those critical skills needed for life.


ICG is working to change that.

Plan to join us for our 3rd annual Play Symposium, Digging Deeper, Sep 30-Oct 1, 2016. Call for proposals now open. Have an idea worth sharing? Submit your proposal today.

Get your Play on @ ICG

  • image Jumping in the Anarchy Zone
  • image Curiosity driven bark inspection
  • image Climbing on garden features

ICG has been offering rich terrain, habitat, and countless invitations to children to explore and play since 1999. In 2012, ICG took it to the next level by opening the Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone, the first public adventure playground on the east coast.

ICG's Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone, a unique habitat designed exclusively for the human child to design and be masters of his or her own play experiences- has changed the face of play at ICG and Ithaca. And now, beyond.

Playwork what?

Playwork is about fostering a culture of play and creating environments that empower children to build their own play experiences. (Check out this interview with What's Good Ithaca about playwork @ ICG to find out more about playwork.) After three years of operating the Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone, the importance of playwork and playwork training has emerged as a key ingredient to operating a successful adventure playground. Inspired by mentorship we have receive by experts in the field, particularly our good friends at Pop-up Adventure Play, ICG is excited to share the resources we've developed and hope our experience inspires you to bring playwork into your own corner of the world, wherever that may be.

How can I learn more?

ICG is now offering an Introduction to Playwork Course for educators, parents, childcare providers, landscape architects, and anyone who works with children or influences policy that affects children's time or environments to learn about the fundamental benefits of play, and how playwork can help us foster a culture of play in our own settings.

ICG is also offering a new Playwork Immersion Course this summer, June-September, a residency program for anyone interested in pursuing playwork and adventure playground development as a career path.

Play professionals from all over the country are invited to join ICG as we host the second annual Ithaca's Day of Play Symposium October 1-3. (See the 2014 Day of Play program)