Madison Public Library and Madison Parks partnered to bring A Wild Rumpus, an award-winning program based on the education approach of Anji Play, to Brittingham, Haen Family and Reindahl parks over the summer. The program is funded in part by a Madison Public Library Foundation annual fund grant.

The library provided special play equipment to spark children’s imaginations. At the end of each event, kids created a Play Story, drawing or writing about their play for that day.

Over the past several months, innovations at A Wild Rumpus helped parents and children to better enjoy the weekly play-centered, child-led activities in the parks. The kickoff included a pre-series orientation, plus new supplies for parents, children and library staff. Technology supplies including phone apps, a printer, portable battery packs and a recording device were provided for parents so they could more easily capture moments of their children playing in the park. A “ladder” bookshelf with circulating books for children and a plank wagon with more storage was on site, and whistles and lanyards allowed library staff to supervise the events.

Anji Play is an educational philosophy created by Ms. Cheng Xueqin, Director of Early Education in Anji County, China. The approach is based on five pillars: Love, Risk, Joy, Engagement and Reflection.