In the News

Library’s Wild Rumpus Brings Play-Based Enrichment to Madison Parks

Kids and families are finding opportunities to have fun throughout the city parks this summer, thanks to a new collaborative program by Madison Public Library and Madison Parks that is funded by Madison Public Library Foundation’s Mini-Grants Program. 

A Wild Rumpus offers children an opportunity to engage in play while inviting caregivers to closely observe, but not direct, their child's activities. The library provides open-ended materials for children to interact with, test out, learn from, build with and use independently or with others. At the end of each session, children reflect on their actions by creating a "play story," drawing or writing about what they did that day at A Wild Rumpus; adults are invited to reflect as well.

“This program has invited a whole host of new kids and families to interact with the library in a unique and highly accessible space, while also gaining the incredible benefits of play and being outdoors,” said Youth Services Librarian Carissa Christner. “We see potential for this program to influence the development of the new Pinney Library’s early childhood space and activities.”

The foundation provided $2,000 for the library to purchase a trailer that transports and stores materials for the program so it can travel to both the east and west sides. Additional trailer funds came from the Friends of the Alicia Ashman Library and the Children in Nature Initiative.

To find out upcoming dates for A Wild Rumpus, visit the library’s events calendar at

Library Website