A pop-up adventure playground...
"The adults come with advice and help,
but it is the children that decide
and make their project a reality."
- Children of Skrammel, Danish Pedagogy that Inspired the World
Denmark's mobile, pop-up adventure playground.
Now booking with schools, museums, municipalities, companies, and foreninger.
WhatBox holds to the health and safety guidelines prescribed by the Danish government, providing:
- outdoor events with physical distancing
- regular cleaning of tools and surfaces
- multiple disinfectant stations
- no need to stand in lines or use a cashier station
We deliver experiences for builders and makers of all ages, then we pack up and head off on another adventure.
(2:31) WhatBox filmed above in Billund, August 2019. Delivered in partnership with Culture Shift
WhatBox Summer Tour 2020:
- June 29 – July 3
- Sommersjov in Billund, Byens Plads, 12:00 - 16:00
- July 7 – 8
- Herning Torv, 10:00 - 15:00
- July 9
- Ringe, 10:00 - 14:00
- July 14 – 15
- Herning Torv, 10:00 - 15:00
- July 16 – 17
- Faaborg, 11:00 - 15:00
- July 21 – 22
- Årslev, 11:00 - 15:00
- July 23 – 24
- Søborg, 11:00 - 15:00
- July 27 - Aug 7
- Copenhagen @ KU.BE, 10:00 - 15:00
What they say about WhatBox
(2:11) A mother reflects on a WhatBox day with her sons.
"Ja, men, jeg synes det er super godt! Altså, han elsker at bygge, lave alt muligt kreativt...så det er helt perfekt det her. Også at man kan få lov til at give den gas med værktøj. Det var ret sejt. Jeg tænker i hvert fald at vi kommer tilbage en anden gang"
- Camilla, mor til en dreng (6 år)
"I'm so happy I made this!"
- Adrien, age 10
"He really enjoyed the building time today. Thanks for being so supportive. He would like to come tomorrow again :)"
- Annika, mother of boy, age 10
"The day we spent building our own playground was one of the most fun days I can remember having with my kids. We built a playground, but also their self-confidence, and the bond between us. I'd love to do it again."
- Michael, father of two kids, ages 9 and 7
"WE got to build the playground and WE got to design the stuff."
- Finn, age 10
"They're really learning through play... They were really innovative, and they were really persistent in terms of figuring out and solving solutions and making it work... and it was great because it was literally just stuff that you'd see lying around in someone's backyard or shed."
- Amy, mother of 3 young boys
1. What is WhatBox? WhatBox is a small company that co-creates BIG fun. WhatBox delivers, facilitates, and removes pop-up adventure playgrounds for kids and their families, featuring loose-parts play with real stuff. Events last anywhere from half a day to a full month.
2. How safe is WhatBox? Research shows that adventure playgrounds are actually safer than traditional playgrounds due to participants' heightened awareness, focus, and judgement while using real tools and materials. Please view the videos below for more information.
3. Is the playground staffed? Yes, WhatBox employees are present on-site from delivery to departure and they are trained in expert (un)facilitation techniques to support all participants in playful learning activities that are full of self-expression, collaboration, critical thinking, and healthy risk.
4. Are parents allowed? Many adventure playgrounds maintain a strict no-parents policy to ensure that projects are truly child-driven. At WhatBox, parents are free to leave their children (after registering contact information), but we are also big proponents of multi-generational parallel play, where kids and parents experiment and learn together. That said, if we sense that parents are taking over, our staff is trained to gently step in to help them step back. In this way, WhatBox encourages personal growth for all participants, from younger to older ones. It’s not a “free-for-all” but it is more free for all.
5. Do I need a ticket? No, WhatBox is a drop-in experience that is FREE to all participants. Typically, WhatBox is purchased by a municipality, museum, festival, school, corporation, or other organization for a specific time period. However, WhatBox is also flexible enough to make other arrangements with individuals. Just contact us when you’re ready.
6. What do I bring? Only what you wish! If you have a special item or tool -– or maybe even a current project -- then you are welcome to bring it along, but WhatBox provides a wide variety of basic tools, supplies, and materials. Shoes (and snacks) are recommended.
7. Can I take my creation home? Yes, participants are welcome to bring home their own builds, or leave them behind as inspiration or a starting point for others. All WhatBox tools remain on-site.
8. How big is WhatBox? Depending on the site, WhatBox arrives in a truck, trailer, or a container, which is usually removed or locked up overnight. WhatBox can take place in a backyard, an empty lot, a field, or even in the woods.
9. Where do you get your materials? Some basic materials are new, but many items have been donated by industries interested in seeing their surplus or leftover materials put to new use. We know that found objects with a backstory frequently provide the most interesting and inspirational starting points for new creations.
10. Is that all there is to it? WhatBox is open to everyone and (nearly) everything so it reflects and celebrates your community. Participants can play and build, or they can work together on a bigger project, bringing along their own music and meals. WhatBox events can also feature special themes or certain materials, skills, and experts to add to the playful learning experience.
More on adventure playgrounds around the world:
"Play is mess-essary."
- Mike Sullivan, WhatBox founder and director
Mike is an anthropologist with 20 years of experience in creating, delivering, and sustaining programs in experiential education. As founder of WhatBox, Mike draws on his background as executive director of an outdoor education foundation, teacher, exhibit- and makerspace-developer and community-organizer. Mike’s CV is here.
Mike is also available for workshops, presentations, and lectures.
WhatBox CVR: 41410930
Flemming Overgaard, Keingart
Tue Holdensen, sustainable engineering
Amos Blanton, Interacting Minds Center
Catherine Overgaard, planning & design
Liam Nilsen, LEGO Idea Studio
Mathias Poulsen, CounterPlay
WhatBox presentation here
WhatBox was selected as a participant in LEGO Ventures Incubation Studio (May, 2020)