Our Annual Play-Well Halloween Costume Contest

We’re celebrating our favorite holiday with our annual costume contest! We’re so excited for our fourth year of Play-Well Halloween! Send us a photo of your child’s LEGO related costume or any cool costume that you and your child created to be entered to win our grand prize of a LEGO Creator Modular Poolside Holiday set!! One lucky winner will receive a LEGO kit, and four submissions will be randomly selected to receive a custom Play-Well Bow Tie!

Post your Halloween costume on our Twitter PageFacebook Page, tag us on Instagram or email a photo to jessi@play-well.org. Good luck! Have a spooktacular Halloween!

Check out some of the fantastic costumes from our past Play-Well Halloween costume contests.

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Celebrating The SOMA District at the Bluxome Street Fair

We were at the Bluxome Street Fair celebrating the South of Market District of San Francisco with families.

What Happens When Compassion Meets Competition?

Guest Blog Post from Sara Schairer of CompassionIt.

Originally posted here: https://compassionit.com/2018/06/06/what-happens-when-compassion-meets-competition/

I teamed up with Gary Ware of Breakthrough Play and Jeff Harry of Play-Well TEKnologies for Global School Playday on February 7, 2018. We led a compassion- and play-focused experiment for High Tech High School 10th graders, because we were curious about the question,

What happens when compassion meets competition?

We each led students through 45-minute workshops. I focused on cultivating compassion, and during Gary’s workshop, students used improv and play to practice empathy, listening, and team-building.

Jeff led the final workshop. He loaded 10 tables with Legos, and he labeled each table as a different country. Some of the tables represented low-income nations, and some represented high-income nations.

The students formed teams and picked their tables. Jeff gave them written instructions, and he told them to “produce as much food as you can.” The students built conveyor belts out of Legos and then created “food” out of Lego bricks. When the food reached the end of the conveyor belts, students would collect it and stack it on their nations in the middle of the room.

What the students didn’t know is that the low-income countries weren’t given enough resources to complete the task. Some of them were missing parts to their conveyor belts, and others didn’t have enough bricks to create food.

The wealthier nations, however, had more than enough Legos.

The high-income nations like the United States and Canada began producing large amounts of food right off the bat. At the same time, the developing nations clearly struggled. For example, the Dominican Republic students were left to fend for themselves despite asking for help from other nations. The students eventually gave up and sat back feeling frustrated and dejected.

When time was up, we took time to debrief with the students. Jeff asked, “What was the assignment I gave you?”

The students replied, “To produce as much food as we could for our nation.”

Jeff shook his head and said, “No. I asked you to produce as much food as you could. I didn’t say it was for your country. Do you think you produced as much as you could since several countries didn’t produce any food?”

The students looked sheepish as they realized they had incorrectly assumed this was a competition. I asked the United States team if they shared Legos with any other nations.

“No,” one student replied.

His group had received several requests for help, so I inquired, “Why not?”

“Because we’re ‘merica,” he said.

Each student wore a wristband with the words “Compassion It” on it.  Despite the visual reminder and two workshops that primed them in compassion, most students ignored requests for help.

I’m happy to report that we did find some outliers. A few students went out of their way to deliver Legos to those who needed them.

What’s my takeaway from this? When we’re involved in a perceived competition, we seem to ignore the needs of others.  Compassion takes a back seat when we want to win.

Our society makes competition a part of everyday life, from athletics to our careers. We prioritize a winning mindset over a compassionate mindset, and that’s what we pass down to our children.

So what can we do about it? We can start by including sportsmanship and compassion when we compete.

We should also teach our youth that life is not a zero-sum game. When we help each other, everyone wins.

Want to cultivate compassion within and also support Compassion It’s efforts to make our world more compassionate? Be a Compassion It Advocate! Learn more.

PRESS ADVISORY: BUILDING THE CITY OF SANTA BARBARA OUT OF 40,000 LEGO® PIECES

On Saturday, April 28th, Play-Well TEKnologies will be collaborating with the Carrillo Recreation Center and families in the community to build Santa Barbara out of 20,000 LEGO® Bricks. Families will have the opportunity to create Santa Barbara, as they would like to see it. The event is free to families. Families get to tackle these questions through play:

  • If you had the chance to design Santa Barbara, how would you design it?
  • What else would you add to the county that you currently think is missing?
  • How would you make Santa Barbara County even better than it is now?

Families will have the opportunity to explore their creativity through play with the help of 20,000 LEGO® Bricks.We will be running two FREE workshops from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM -12:00 PM.

We hope to see you there!

Frequently Asked Questions About Our City Builds:

What do these city builds look like?

Can I drop my kid off at the event?

  • We ask that parents stay with their kids at all times

Will the kids get to keep their LEGO® creations after the event is over?

Can kids bring their own LEGO pieces to add to the city?

  • We ask that kids keep their LEGO® pieces at home as we would not want them to lose their favorite LEGO® pieces

Can we just drop-in to build without registering?

  • Unfortunately, no walk-ins will be allowed as space is limited.

We aren’t able to make it to the event but would love for you to come to our neighborhood or school. Is that possible?

This is a FREE event for kids ages 5+. Only kids need tickets

Here are the details of the event:

Event: Building The City of Santa Barbara out of 40,000 LEGO® Bricks

Location: Carrillo Recreation Center 100 E Carrillo St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Date & Time: Saturday April 28th, 2018  9:00am – 12:00pm

To register for the event, please visit our Eventbrite page HERE.

Play-Well Contact: Victoria Bulmer, victoria@play-well.org, 805-210-0362

Who is Play-Well TEKnologies?

Play-Well teaches LEGO-Inspired STEM Programs to over 100,000 kids/year around the country. The goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers, scientist, innovators, and inventors. Play-Well will be offering summer camps throughout the North Bay. To find camps near you, visit our summer camp page. For more information about Play-Well TEKnologies, click here.

5 Years After Breaking A World Record For Charity, The Dreamcatcher Playground Is Complete

5 years ago, we collaborated the Rotary Dreamcatcher Playground Team, Conejo Recreation and Park DistrictRotary International to break a World Record for charity.  The goal was to bring awareness and raise funds for a state-of-the-art playground for special needs children.

That dream was recently fulfilled with the opening of the Rotary Dreamcatcher Playground.  We feel really lucky to be able to help at the beginning of this campaign.

If you’d like us to help out with your organization or charity, check out Special Events Page here.