Well the founder of this organization did! Back in June, at the beginning of this workroom-less summer, a good friend pointed me to an organization called Loose Parts Project, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their mission: "to encourage creativity and collaboration through community based, child-directed play experiences using recycled and repurposed materials."
The idea of child-directed play is great, but it can be tough as a parent of a young toddler to restrain yourself and just let them dive into something without directing them. I mean, it's natural. You ushered them into this world and cared for them so intensely when they couldn't do much of anything on their own that, in order to help them begin to realize their independence, you have to let go (just a little). And, let's face it, it's a difficult idea to get used to. For me, the pursuit of true, child-directed play is an exercise in re-focusing my parenting on the stage of life my daughter is currently in and moving towards, with the goal of helping her to become a confident and independent child.
Does anyone else keep a loose parts bin for their children (or themselves)? I'd love to see what you've collected and the imaginative creations that have resulted!