Where Are The Blue Blocks
What is your organization’s name and where is it located?
Mud Kitchen - Sydney, Australia
Tell us a little bit about your organization, possibly including history of your organization.
Way back in the early 1980s, founder and CEO, Liz Rossiter took Summer road trips across the United States with her family. These adventures were hot, dusty, messy, noisy, and incredibly memorable, for all the right reasons.
At almost every city along the way, there was a Children's Museum to explore. Fast forward 30 years, and those road trips turned into global wanderings, and landed that girl in Australia, with children of her own, and a desire to give them a taste of the playful learning nirvana she had experienced in the museums all those years ago. And that's how Mud Kitchen began... by scouring the world for products, equipment, and resources that captured the same magic of hands-on, 'old-school' immersive screen-free play that was so captivating and memorable. And that’s where the Blue Blocks come in! They fit the philosophy of Mud Kitchen perfectly!
Does your country use/implement loose-part play differently from other parts of the world?
We are lucky enough to have a government and school system that invests in the importance of STEAM philosophy and begins implementing it at an early age. For these institutions to recognise and invest in strategies to provide a framework in STEAM spaces shows a commitment to investing in our future generation of young Aussie thinkers. We feel very lucky to be in a country that believes in collaborative and strategic opportunities, where using the Big Blue Blocks is recommended to learn through play.
How long has your organization had Imagination Playground Blocks?
How many different organizations have you had a part in bringing the Blue Blocks to?
Too many to count! We are fortunate to have the Blocks in museums, shopping care centres, community spaces, schools, child care centres all over Australia and now New Zealand.
How did the organization initially hear about Imagination Playground?
We have been following Imagination Playground since the Blocks first appeared in New York City ten years ago – and we’ve been obsessed ever since! So may possibilities for creative play with the Blocks, they are an incredible resource.
What are some examples of ways you see the Blue Blocks being used?
Just recently we had an organization create a “Blue Room” and took the Big Blue Block concept and run with it! From the walls to the floor – everything was blue! They even built a block wall so that they kids could build off the wall as they created different structures. This was a grand opening of a new community space in a Sydney shopping centre and we were proud to see our Big Blue Blocks take place as a major feature, but more than that, we were excited to see it be the most popular attraction for both kids and adults!
In your experience, what are the children’s favorite aspect of using the Blue Blocks?
Definitely the non-prescriptive, no rules, no right or wrong, endless play potential. It is this type of play that is perfect for inspiring imagination because it has a million and endless combinations. Kids feel empowered, learn at their own pace, enjoy being challenged to dream and create without parameters.
Children are not going to forget the experience of playing with the Big Blue Blocks. It’s so unique that it stands out. It becomes an incredible memory that stays with them long after the blocks were put down.
What would you tell another organization that was considering purchasing Imagination Playground Blocks?
There is no better investment for our next generation, the Blocks are such a high quality product that do not become stale or static but can grow with children. From young to older kids, the Blocks are a fantastic, unplugged loose-parts play products that provide an outlet for unleashing that creativity – transforming any space into a playground that encourages children to have so much fun they don’t realise they have been learning valuable STEAM skills the whole time. With so much screen-heavy learning, this is the absolute right way to gain the right balance. Put down the iPad and pick up a blue block!
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with the Blue Blocks?
We feel incredibly lucky to be able to bring the Big Blue Blocks to Australia, and now New Zeland. We receive the best feedback from our customers and truly enjoy hearing about the LOVE they have for the Big Blue Blocks. They are never disappointed! We have had customers who save up for years to be able to purchase and when we get photos and hear the stories of when they finally get the product and see them in action…well that’s what makes it all worth it! It truly is special to be able to bring such a unique, inspiring and memorable play experience to others.
Is there any further information you would like to give to people located in Australia about the Blue Blocks or how to contact you?
We just launched a new website and we love our Big Blue Block page! Look it up! Mudkitchen.com.au – then click on the Big Blue Block page. You can fill in the form there for more Blue Block info or just call us. Our staff is more than happy to chat about the amazing benefits! But we always encourage people to check out the videos – so don’t miss the opportunity to visit our instagram and facebook pages. You truly see the magic when you see the Blocks in action!
Are there any special funding opportunities for organizations in your country to receive the Blue Blocks that you are aware of and would like to share?
There are lots of grants available that help community groups, pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools. We will let our customers know about the grants if we hear about them and even host grant webinars so we can do our best to help them secure the grants successfully. We know for some this is a dream resource to have and we want to do our best to facilitate that dream!