Playscapes Giveaway: Build-It! Discs for Temporary Playgrounds!

Generally I have some sort of giveaway around the blog’s birthday…I’m slow in getting it all together this year (lots of traveling this month) but here it is at last!

Alex Gilliam of Public Workshop creates uniquely engaging opportunities for youth and their communities to shape the design of their cities, in eminently playful ways.  With the support of the National Building Museum, Domaform and Cynthia Field, he developed the Build-It! discs to “challenge possibility on playgrounds, vacant lots, in classrooms and your very own backyard.

Build-It! Discs are fabricated in the United States from double-walled cardboard for extra durability and strength, allowing you to build your very best awe-inspiring structures over and over again. They are made from recycled paper and are 100% recyclable!”

They’re amazing just for fun, of course, but Public Workshop also uses them to focus on placemaking:  exploring, for example, how an underutilized public space might be re-envisioned, and using the highly visible nature of a build-it structure to raise public awareness.  They’re great for self-building a temporary playscape, or imagining a new permanent playground.

If you are the lucky winner of this giveaway, you’ll receive THREE SETS (60 total) of Build-It! Discs, shipping included.   Even to international locations, though they may take a while to arrive.  If you don’t win, you can still order your own–they’re $35 (plus shipping) for a set of 20, 12 inch diameter discs–by emailing Alex directly.

TO ENTER, just leave a comment!   You can say something nice about playscapes (the blog is powered by good wishes), or make a suggestion for something you’d like to see here or in the playground world in general, or tell me about your favorite playscape ever.


Hope you win!

50 Responses to “Playscapes Giveaway: Build-It! Discs for Temporary Playgrounds!”

  1. Bob Kahn said:

    Just saw Build-it Discs for the first time at a local school maker event. They are wonderful!
    Thanks for creating.

    February 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

  2. Unknown said:

    Though I didn't know it until reading your blog just now, I grew up playing in Paul Friedberg's NYC playgrounds. Thanks for this wonderful blog / resource!

    April 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  3. swallownest said:

    I love these…who would have thought they came so BIG!
    My four year old class made a “condo” for their “Littlest Pet Shops” with the small version of these. I couldn't believe the details they put into it. They played with it for weeks on end, adding new features nearly every day.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  4. Betsy said:

    Love your blog!

    April 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

  5. pencrush said:

    Love this blog. I use it as an inspiration for exhibit ideas all the time. Thanks so much for posting such great stuff.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  6. lebanisa said:

    this is MAGICAL. if only i'd had something like this as a kid. i know a lot of children now who need magic in their world.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  7. Stephanie said:

    I just came across your blog on Pinterest and I'm absolutely in love. I'm always looking for new, fun ideas for our preschool playground and cannot wait to explore everything you've posted. And the discs??? So cool. I think I need to order some. I have a group of pre-k boys that would be entertained for hours with those. Good job!!!

    April 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

  8. james pashley said:

    I have never seen anything uninspiring on your pages, I am sure I speak for everybody when I say how grateful we are for all the effort you put in to it, and may its success continue for years to come!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  9. arcady said:

    Another comment submitted by email:

    I would like to enter the playscapes giveaway. I am a designer in Los Angeles who loves playscapes. My husband and I have been
    involved with architectural history and post-war preservation in the LA area for many years. Presently I am very interested in
    education and am involved with my 7-year-olds school where I bring in curriculum for kids regarding art and architecture. I also
    collect books and photograph info about playscapes from the past as I enjoy doing environments/installations etc. I would really
    enjoy the Build-It! Discs to use at my daughters school.
    Thank you for such a great resource as Playscapes… It is always inspiring…
    Ginny Glass

    April 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

  10. arcady said:

    Comment submitted by email:

    First of all, I so look forward to your blog and always get excited when I see playscapes in my Inbox. I was an art teacher for forty years and served on the National Building Museum's Teacher Advisory Board for about 20 years. I think they are just about as great as you are!.. I introduced Keva Planks into all 140 elementary school in Fairfax County Schools after working with the NBM and the Keva people. If I was still teaching, I know I would be doing the same thing with the Build-It Discs. I retired and spend most of my time playing in Tucson with my first grandchild. If I win, I will share them out in the Southwest. If I don't win, I will buy them for him as soon as he is a little older. You would love that the whole elementary art curriculum I wrote for Fairfax County Public School was on the concept of a Sense of Place. Our kindergartners learned about the importance of play by designing first cooperatively with Toobers and Zots Playscapes and then individual pieces of play equipment using flexible foam. You would have loved them.

    Please keep up your good work. I may be an aging grandmother but I still am a child at heart and love to play!

    Ann Erickson

    April 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

  11. DiPeterson68 said:

    So happy to see all the entries in the contest now=)I too would love to win these play disks! They would be used many children in Colorado Springs,Colorado during my park-a-day mobile play program.
    Thank you for sharing play tools, ideas, photos, information & resources.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  12. Chris said:

    What a great giveaway! I work for a municipality parks dept. developing playgrounds and I LOVE your blog and the inspiration it always provides. Thanks so much!

    April 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

  13. woowoo said:

    these would be excellent in recycled plastic for more durability on public playgrounds – maybe similar to the recycled plastic Loll uses? the cardboard ones are great and could really enliven a poor boring adult cubicleville in addition to playgrounds 😉

    April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  14. gDiego said:

    Thanks for being such an inspiration for those of us that are always looking for new ideas.
    One can always find lots of gems in this blog!!

    April 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  15. Karen said:

    How wonderful! I love your blog, and as we are working on our school's playground and wooded areas, you provide amazing ideas and resources! Thank you!

    April 16, 2012 at 1:53 am

  16. wordparty said:

    These are fantastic, thanks again for sharing. I would love to win these so that we could use them in the Access Parks that are being built at the base of the Bloomingdale Trail here in Chicago. We need compelling ways to engage the public (all ages but lots of kids!) while we go through the design and construction process for the future “elevated park.” So I'm throwing my hat into the ring. Thanks again and Happy Birthday!

    April 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

  17. kathy said:

    I love the clarity of your site. I have a project for alternative on- the-spot games which will happen in the streets of Glasgow in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, I would love to invent a game for adults and children using your discs. Kathy

    April 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

  18. Susanne said:

    Thankyou for a great blog! I'm currently writing my master's thesis in landscape architecture which is on the subject of playground equipment. More or less all the literature and articles I've read are very critical to playgrounds as such and yearns for more creative ways to design playgrounds. Your blog answer these yearnings so well and is right on spot what we grown up need to make more interesting play areas; good examples, enthusiasm and creativity! Please keep this blog going! I will follow it long after my thesis is finished!

    April 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

  19. fruzs said:

    (aaaw last minute!) I love this blog, found it while I've been searching for resources for my final thesis on natural playscapes in childcare center gardens. You were/are highly inspiring! thanks, greetings from Hungary! 🙂

    April 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

  20. Sara said:

    I love your previous post about Naturscapes. It has helped give me some ideas to think about for my own backyard.

    April 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  21. Miss Eileen said:

    We're currently researching ideas to spruce up our playground for our child care center – thanks for the creative ideas!

    April 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

  22. Miss holden said:

    Love this idea, yet another way for little hands to create big things! And so much safer than the large wooden building blocks we currently use in the classroom. Our children would love these, one day they would be a space ship, the next a castle. You need to get to some educational conventions in the uk, these things would fly off the shelves.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  23. Juliet Robertson said:

    What interesting discs! They remind me of a smaller piece of kit I used to use as a child.

    Congratulations on your blogging birthday and all the best for future posts to come.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  24. Annette said:

    Yes we would like the chance to become a building hero's too 🙂 thank you your photographs are fantastic can I come and work there!

    April 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

  25. onlineshoppingqueen said:

    Awesome product! Absolutely love your blog!

    April 15, 2012 at 3:41 am

  26. moonlight creek said:

    I love your blog. I have really learnt a lot and been prompted to look at our neighborhood differently since starting to follow along.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:10 am

  27. Tern said:

    You give me inspiration to find and create better play areas for my two kids (ages 8 and 9). Thank you.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  28. Judy said:

    I love your blog and I would be thrilled to win the discs for my local playground. It's undergoing renovation soon. See:

    April 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

  29. mykim617 said:

    Love the blog – great ideas! The discs would be wonderful for my students to use in exploring space and design.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  30. Mrs. Magyar said:

    Hi, I recently found your blog when looking for ideas for my backyard. My one year old loves to climb and I have found lots of inspiration here for our yard. Thank you!

    April 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

  31. laura said:

    oh these are awesome! like giant cardboard crystal climbers.
    I'd love to see these in different shapes too!

    April 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  32. STERNO46 said:

    A Montessori educator led me to you–I thank her and you.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  33. Paul Shortt said:


    April 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  34. Patricia said:

    Just discovered your blog – I love imaginative playgrounds that don't coddle kids and allow them to explore and take risks!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  35. Susan said:

    Your blog is amazing. I am always inspired by your posts. We just completed a natural playscape at our school so I am constantly returning to the blog. Thank you!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  36. Stephanie said:

    These look like so much fun! My daughters' school would love them! Thank you so much for all of the work and love that goes into this blog. You have opened my eyes as to what a playground should and can be!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

  37. Ms. Erin's HeartRoom said:

    I would love to add these to my early childhood center's common space!

    April 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

  38. Vesna VK said:

    Thanks for the intriguing, thought-provoking pictures and posts. If I win, I'll donate the disks to Lake View Elementary School on Madison, Wisconsin's beautiful Northside.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

  39. Mt Coot-tha Residents Group said:

    Happy Blogiversary! We love your blog, thanks for the regular inspiration.

    Love these discs; what a great idea. You can read about our neighbourhood's playground campaign here:

    This modular system would be a very fancy upgrade for the local kids. They used to play with cardboard boxes on a slope, but you can read in the blog how the local council put a stop to that.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

  40. FunPlaces said:

    You must keep writing, your collection of creative minds and spaces is always inspiring against the “in the box” playgrounds and brings creativity to those who will empower the next generation – the creatives and littles! My favorite playground was seen at Franconia Sculpture Park in MN, it was called “Playstation” by Bridget Beck. Search for her online or check out for some of her amazing, community centered work, including this project. It is upcycled, beautifully colored, and beyond a Dr. Seuss book – my kids loved to play in her spaces. Thanks again! We appreciate every blog.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm

  41. Andrew said:

    Thanks for continuing to highlight such great ideas!

    April 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  42. sc said:

    Thank you playscapes! – you have been the source of much inspiration. I am working with a group to make our city more playful – I would love to bring these discs to some of our events.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

  43. marlene heuer said:

    As an early childhood educator and someone who is passionate about about play for all ages, I thank you creating such an exciting and inspiring blog!

    April 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

  44. kidmagnet said:

    I am totally addicted to your blog! Playscapes are often connected with nature centers. Do you know of any nature playscapes that have been developed around a creative arts center? Happy Blog Anniversary!

    April 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

  45. Stephanie Ozenne said:

    Those look like so much fun! LOVE the blog. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:13 am

  46. Greg Pfeil said:

    I've been collecting ideas from your blog to turn my backyard into a playscape for my newborn and her friends-to-be. It's a great blog, and I'm sorry it's taken a contest to finally get me to comment 😉

    April 14, 2012 at 2:13 am

  47. Charndra said:

    I love this blog. Pouring over google images for ideas for a simple sandpit idea that was interesting or unique led me repeatedly to this blog, and so on to the current trends in natural playspaces. So inspired, I am transforming our backyard into a natural playspace for our kids. So far I have a snaking mound, secret hidden tree spaces, and am getting some GIANT boulders delivered next week, that I scored for free, only paying moving costs to our yard, thrilled and amazed at my luck on that score. Next is the sandpit and water feature playing area with stroking stones and, and – such fun!

    April 14, 2012 at 12:11 am

  48. atelierista said:

    Gosh the kids at Sabot school sure could have fun with those!

    April 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  49. Tom Bedard said:

    Nadia, these are cool. I use cardboard a lot in my classroom to make apparatus in and around the sensory table. You post a lot about big play environments. Do you ever post on mini play enviornments?

    April 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

  50. Michãel said:

    Love, love, LOVE your blog. One of our favorite playscapes was a playground in Cairnes, Australia. We lived down under for a year and became quite good at finding new playgrounds for our young children. That one was the best. Thanks for the chance to win!

    April 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Leave a Reply