Play Passages Submissions

I'm so glad you want to share a childhood play memory with me for Play Passages! I’m asking people to share their memory through writing, drawing, and painting, with a bit of a twist, to encourage people to let go a little and play again, which is very much in the spirit of the project.

Materials you’ll need:

5"x7" piece of white watercolor or heavy card stock paper.

Black pen (something smooth, like a uniball, thin sharpie, micron etc. Just not a ball point).

Watercolors (any kids’ watercolour kit will do)




  1. WRITE: Fill out the form below, and share a vivid outdoor play memory with me and its location.
  2. DRAW: Take the white card, and with your eyes closed, draw a map of where you played. It could be a map from any angle, with lots of details or very little. Let the memory flow out of your hand onto the paper. You remember where everything was, no need to look. Let this process free you from worrying about how it will come out, just enjoy. No cheating!  The only rule is don't label anything with words.
  3. PAINT: Open your eyes, and use the watercolors to color in your drawing however you like.
  4. SEND: Scan or photograph the watercolor, then email me a copy of your play memory map, high resolution if possible.

I also encourage you to share your watercolor and story in my Facebook group, Mapping Our Lives, or post it on social media with the hashtag #playpassages.

That’s it! I’ll be in contact with you if I’m able to select your story to turn into a photograph for the project or if I want to follow up with you for an audio interview. You also might see it pop up on social media. And thank you no matter what, because the more stories I get for the project, the better it will be. 

And in case you're feeling nervous, here's what one participant had to say about the process:

"The instruction to draw with my eyes closed was frightening but the experience was liberating. Not being burdened by the immediate feedback of my progress freed up my mind to search out memories that felt rusty and needed a little polish. Amongst the daily pressures of work and family, it was strangely refreshing to engage in an activity where there was no right or wrong answer. 

Since I have zero background (or skill) at painting, I just had to make sure the colours reflected my memories and then let the brush go where it wanted. Painting was pure fun - there is really no other way to describe it. The experience made me feel great all afternoon and I couldn’t stop thinking and talking about the project." - Raymond Shih

Name *
It can be a specific story of something that happened, or just general memories of playing outside in a specific place. (Max: around 150-200 words)
(Max: around 50 words)
If you have a specific address or city, that's ideal. I'll be in touch for more specifics if necessary.
Would you like to be added to my mailing list about Play Passages? *
I’ve read and accepted the Terms of submission. *