Queen Anne Playstreet – August 2018

This year, Queen Anne Greenways decided to see if we could pull off TWO Playstreets – and found that we could – although at times we felt as if we were in an upside-down process, along with our young customers.

2018_08_QACC_LEGO_3356_1000

Our Playstreets focus on using a block of a street that passes through a civic campus  (City Pool, Community Center, Middle School, Sports Fields and Farmers Market) for activities focused on families and children. We promote them in advance;

2018_07_Flyer_1000

and consciously hold them in conjunction with the Thursday Farmers Markets.

2018_08_QAFM_3288_1000

This gives us an automatic audience and gives that audience some added attractions. The market includes a truck food court with lots of interesting menu choices that

2018_08_QAFM_3285_1000

makes it possible for people to hang around for a while and enjoy the busker entertainment that the market features, in this case, folk songs.

2018_08_QAFM_3312_1000

The Queen Anne Greenways Playstreet frames the market with activities that vary from small and intense to large and challenging – such as this climbing wall by Seattle Adventure Sports.

2018_08_Climbing_MO_1000

Don Cheyette and his team introduce each new climber to a harness;

2018_08_Climbing_3284_1000

and give them a beginning lesson. Then they’re on their own.  Well, often some moral support is required from Mom and Dad.

2018_08_Climbing_3329_1000

And occasionally a boost over a tough spot.

2018_08_Climbing_3260_1000

The equipment is set up so that even if the climber totally lets go, the suspension cable won’t release until they choose, and even then the ride down is slow and reassuring. Some of the climbers have done this before.

2018_08_Climbing_3265_1000

This young lady made barefoot climbing look pretty easy. She also had a good sense of how to use the various hand and foot holds.

2018_08_Climbing_3261_1000

Of the ones I saw climb, she came the closest to the top.

2018_08_Climbing_3264_1000

Apparently it’s really in her genes – she free-climbed this tree a little later.

2018_08_Climbing_3354_1000

Just down from the climbers, Scott Cooper of Blue Highways Games, generated a different kind of excitement.

2018_08_BlueHighways_3326_1000

Lots of noise – and disbelief when this young woman won AGAIN.

2018_08_BlueHighways_3282_1000

I didn’t watch long enough to catch on to Speed Cups,

2018_08_BlueHighways_3325_1000

but anytime you have to “beat the bell” things get wild. Blue Highways makes a point of giving everyone an opportunity to “unplug and reconnect” by stocking only board games, puzzles and in-store competitions that don’t need electronics.

2018_08_BlueHighways_3272_1000

They have a strong following, and many of their customers showed up here.

We enjoyed having Christiane Woten from the Queen Anne branch of the Seattle Public Library come again and bring her collection of crafts. At this sort of event,

2018_07_SPL_3145_Christiane_1000

there’s a lot of craziness going on; but we’ve learned that for many, quieter involvement in creating things has more attraction. The library also has many local fans.

In the middle of the Playstreet we had to deal with a modern intrusion. In spite of putting up No Parking signs 3 days in advance, we still had three cars parked on the street when our set-up process began. Unluckily, one of them was sitting on top of an event we couldn’t move – our giant checkerboard.

2018_08_Checkers_Car_1000

So we got out the stencil and shifted the board a couple of rows to the west, a nuisance task to have to accomplish at the last minute. The owner of the car eventually turned up and – not very apologetically – moved her car. The giant size (15″x 15″ squares) invites animated interaction.

2018_08_Checkers_3252_1000

It also encourages parent / child participation, with all the inherit balancing of ‘learning the game’ against ‘winning and losing’.

2018_08_Checkers_3352_1000

Corey Lynn Atencio came again this year to introduce kids to Yoga. This offers an interesting combination of energy and calmness to the rest of what’s happening.

2018_08_Yoga_3222_1000

Corey reports that one of the fun things about working with small children is their combination of willingness and flexibility. Suggest a move – and done !

2018_08_Yoga_3225_1000

And of course, all these positions can be held with balloons attached.

2018_08_Yoga_3278_1000

A new and different group joined us this time, the Seattle Audubon Society (SAS).

2018_08_Audubon_3249_1000

Etta Cosey (foreground) and David Garcia (purple shirt) brought a collection of books, stuffed birds, binoculars, spotting scope, and information about the SAS. Since birds fascinate us but are normally elusive, handling them (even though they’re stuffed with cotton) becomes an exotic experience.

2018_08_Audubon_3247_3248_1000

Birders know acutely how important good optics are for seeing birds in the wild where they’re often somewhat hidden in trees or shrubs some distance away. David brought binoculars, the best choice for a quick survey of a habitat.

2018_08_Audubon_3333_1000

But he also included a spotting scope, normally used where birds have perched for a period of time and can be examined in detail. Of course, it takes a bit of practice to figure out which eye to use and how to search for the bird.

2018_08_Audubon_3276_1000

I suggested we might be able to find a cooperative bird to help the process out.

2018_08_Audubon_3324_1001

And luckily for us, a Northern Flicker landed on a nearby tree and held very still.

2018_08_Audubon_3323_1000_focused

Most Northern Flickers don’t come with identification cards; but that’s just one of the many features that the Queen Anne Greenways Playstreet and Seattle Audubon Society can offer to future birders.

We’ve learned over time that balloons are a big hit. We were fortunate to have Liz McQuiston from Queen Anne Kids set up her booth and pump up 250 of them.

2018_08_QAKids_3279_1000

We set up the Queen Anne Greenways Playstreet booth in the center of the festivities. As our contribution we helped kids draw pictures and then turn them into buttons. The drawing process was pretty informal but straightforward, overseen by Heather Trim.

2018_08_QAG_Buttons_3281_1000

Making the buttons involves magic – putting the drawing, the button-back and the drawing cover into the press in the right order and with the right side up or down, clamping it, then turning it around a couple of times and clamping it again.

2018_08_QAG_Buttons_3292_1004

But with a little practice, the magic works every time.

2018_08_QAG_Buttons_3298_1001

We couldn’t have done this Playstreet without the enthusiastic support of the Queen Anne Community Center. They supply a lot of the canopies, all the tables and chairs for the booths, and the active play toys that add so much of the energy. They also typically set up a booth or two themselves; and this time they focused on beads.

2018_08_QACC_Beads_3322_1000

There’s a fascination in building something large out of many small pieces.

2018_08_QACC_Beads_3310_1000

This civilized activity contrasted dynamically with some of the other activities they brought – ones that couldn’t be contained in a booth – like bubbles!

2018_08_QACC_Bubbles_3317_1000

Bubbles exploded from all of the shaped wands

The over-sized blocks also got a workout. We were impressed with how many different ways the blocks could be interpreted.

2018_08_QACC_LEGO_3350_1000

But the noisiest and most dynamic toys were all the ride’em vehicles in action. We had laid out a track of sorts, which was both heavily used and totally ignored.

2018_08_Ride_Em_3300_1000

The resulting free-for-all perfectly fitted the energy of the afternoon.

2018_08_Ride_Em_3241_1000

2018_08_Ride_Em_3304_1000

To get a sense of what this feels like in motion, check out this time-lapse video made by Jake Ostrow, one of our Greenways supporters. Video Link HERE.

Thanks to Queen Anne Community Center director, Gina Saxby (right) for all her help with our fourth Queen Anne Greenways Playstreet!

2018_07_QAG_3209_GinaSaxby_1000

The Seattle Fire Department paid us a visit for a while. It’s always popular with both parents and children – who get to sit in the cab –

2018_08_FireTruck_MO_1000

and check out all the hoses and pumps.

2018_08_FireTruck_3235_1000

We had a great band this time around – Mud Junket

2018_08_MudJunket_3237_1000_names

They played a mix of jazz, blues and funky songs, and really anchored this part of the Playstreet. At one point vocals guest Sheryl Wiser added her talents as well.

2018_08_MudJunket_3347_1001

That was a fun touch that I hadn’t seen coming.

Gradually people found dinner at the Farmers Market Food Truck Court and settled in at some of the tables and chairs we had scattered through the area.

2018_08_Dinner_3331_1000

Our own Queen Anne Greenways team reviewed the day’s activities –

2018_08_QAG_Core_3355_1000

At our table we asked what else people might like to see.

2018_08_QAG_List_3357_1000

Chalk those ideas up as food for thought

for the next time we close the street to cars

and open it to families to enjoy together.

2018_08_Playstreet_Chalk_1000

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Queen Anne Playstreet – August 2018

Have a comment? Please share it with us.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s