Twin Cities Adventure Play Preschool and School-Age Programs are committed to the principle of self-directed play that involves loose parts, natural elements, and mixed age play with a dash of risk-taking. We serve communities based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities. In our programs kids get to play THEIR way in order to Create, Build and Explore- new structures, friendships, and self-mastery.

TCAP Playworkers are present during all of our preschool and school-age programming.

“Our kiddo LOVED backyard camp!  Working with *real tools* and having the space for totally free play really boosted his confidence and creativity. He was so proud of his ability to do real work and to create imaginary worlds with other kids. And we loved that he got a solid block of uninterrupted outside time!  This is exactly what summer should be for kids.”

“The stories, the stories! When your kid goes to Backyard Camp, they come home with stories of adventure, of playing, negotiating and cooperating with younger and older kids, and of doing things they never knew they’d even be allowed to try. Awesome!”


“Ruby played like she’s never played before and gained the coolest skills: working with older kids, choosing her own adventures, and- mostly importantly- DARING!” 

“I delivered my 4 year old daughter to this camp last summer, and found myself wandering into 1978. Back then, I could just play with friends in the backyard. Seniz gave me a hug (in Minnesota!) and one of her happy helpers climbed down from the tree fort to pull out a box of yarn, then a box of glue, glitter, and paint, then a box full of boxes, a box of costumes—different options everyday. I admired the gorgeous garden. The kids made crazy cardboard grass, stick and mud forts. I could barely get her to leave. We’re going back this summer. Thank you for bringing childhood back, Seniz!”

Backyard Camp!

Enrollment for BACKYARD CAMP is now open for eight 1-week sessions from June 3 through August 16, 2019.

Ready to enroll? 

Click on the fancy pants link below!

Need more info? Read on!

Backyard Camp takes place in our awesome backyard in NE Minneapolis. This week-long day camp is an unadulterated child-led space where 3-12 yr olds choose their own adventures; building, creating new worlds, and making up games using an abundance of loose parts, our lovely tree house, and all the surrounding nature.

Under close observation of the skilled Playworker staff on site, kids will check on the garden, play in the sprinkler, and maybe build and take a rocket to space all while creating relationships and practicing important life skills.

Each week of camp is unique depending on the dynamic of the group.

*Kids will have access to tools! Hammers, nails, and even saws for those who are able.
All of this is always in a supervised and controlled area.

Full Day (9am-4pm) = $275
Half Day (9am-12pm) = $150
We also offer a sibling discount for multiple kiddos.

Minimum 12 kids/week
Maximum 16 kids/week

Camp Details

During Backyard Camp, kids will:

-Have a chance to work with tools and building materials free for use

-Be given opportunities to work with fine art and handcrafting materials

-Be able to tend to/check-on, enjoy the fruits of our beautiful garden

-Practice creative collaboration and group problem solving

-Get to play THEIR way in order to Create, Build and Explore- new structures, friendships, and self-mastery

Why Mixed Age Play?

TCAP’s Backyard Camp advocates for and practices age-mixing at our camp, where children of various ages have the opportunity to play together, if they wish. For more on the advantages of age-mixed play, we recommend this article:



WHEN: Half Day (9am-12pm) and Full Day (9am-4pm) options available. We will likely add more Half Day availabilities starting in March.

SNACK: We will provide a healthy snack for Half and Full Day camps. 

LUNCH: Full Day camp kids will provide their own lunch

Numbers: Camp limit is 18 campers. There will always be three Playworkers on site.
Ratio = 6:1 campers to staff

LOCATION(s): All Backyard Camps take place in the backyard of our Founder, Seniz Yargici Lennes. The location is in NE MPLS off of 18th Avenue and Taylor Street. Address for camp and further camp details can be found on registration form.

We are also looking to secure a second location near East Lake Street within the next week or two, once that location is secure- we will offer more Half Day options.

OTHER: We are offering one week of Half Day camp at the Backyard- and will likely add more Half Day options starting Monday, March 18th 

Any questions or concerns, please contact us HERE