Remember how you played?

Children need to direct their own play. Give them:


Their own time every day


To spread out & get messy inside & outside in nature


To choose what, how & who to play with, without adult agendas

Loose Parts

Like cardboard, sand, water, nature and art materials
All children should have the opportunity for this type of play every day

Let them lead, children are experts in their own play.

The Sunflower Play Initiative Outreach Program

To celebrate Sunflower’s 25th Anniversary, we’ve launched a community outreach program called The Sunflower Play Initiative to raise awareness of the many benefits of child-directed play.


Research shows that child-directed play is a crucial element in the healthy development of social-emotional skills, physical skills and mental well-being. Play is a building block of academic success and a joyful childhood. All children should have the opportunity for this type of play every day.

Since launching the Play Initiative in June 2018
, Sunflower hosted over 20 Pop-up Playful Builds throughout communities in Palm Beach County.

Playful Builds offer fun, direct, hands-on experiences to children, families, caregivers and educators through good old-fashioned play. Each Playful Build invites children of all ages to create, invent, and build anything using their imagination and a huge pile of recyclable loose parts such as large and small cardboard boxes, lots of tape, fabric, yarn and other random bits.

Our inaugural year of the Play Initiative culminated with our biggest Playful Build event, the Delray Big Build and Play Workshops on November 4, 2018 at Old School Square. Over 300 attendees participated in the Big Build while parents and teachers from the community attended free workshops on the “Power of Play” led by Morgan Leichter-Saxby, co-founder of Pop-Up Adventure Play.

After spending some time visiting Sunflower’s programs, Morgan remarked, “Sunflower is an extraordinary site and community, totally dedicated to children’s play! It shines with a rare warmth, dedication and care, and I couldn’t be happier to call these folks my colleagues and friends.”

We are so grateful to all our Sponsors who made the Delray Big Build and Play Workshops possible!

Thank you to our 25th Anniversary Silver Sponsors
Neil Bourdelaise, Branch Sales Manager with First Home Mortgage

More Play to Come!

Throughout this summer, Playful Builds will pop up at the Delray Beach Library, Catherine Strong Park, the Delray Beach Children’s Garden, the Arts Garage, and the Farm Workers Council in Lake Worth, as well as some surprise locations in South Florida. And stay tuned for more!

Upcoming Sunflower Pop-Up Playful Builds


Text the code “PLAYBOXES” to 44321 to donate to support The Sunflower Play Initiative.

Learn more about The Sunflower Play Initiative

Collected Play Resources

TED Talk: Tales of Creativity and Play by Tim Brown
At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

The Power of Play: A Research Summary on Play and Learning from Dr. Rachel E. White for the Minnesota Children’s Museum

The Amazing Benefits of Child-Directed Play from Pop-Up Adventure Play

The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children from American Academy of Pediatrics

Facts on Play from KaBOOM!

Growth and Development: Child-Directed Play from Seattle Children’s Hospital

The Adult Role in Child-Led Play from Nature Play

Taking Play Seriously The New York Times article, Jan. 29, 2018

Loose Parts Play from Inspiring Scotland

Handbooks from Playground Ideas

Evidence from Playground Ideas

Sunflower Creative Arts is a Delray Beach based 501c3 nonprofit empowering children to be confident, creative and compassionate through Play, Nature and the Arts.

To support the Sunflower Play Initiative, please make a donation:

Text the code “PLAYBOXES” to 44321 to donate to support The Sunflower Play


Different ways to contact Sunflower

Office Hours: M-F 8:00am – 3:00pm
Phone: 561 501-6615
Email:[email protected]
Address: 227 N Dixie Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Share This