The Flying Raccoon

Promoting Lifelong Play

The Flying Raccoon is on a mission to reintegrate Play into the lives of all adults, and believes that in the process we can recapture a bit of the humanity that has been lost.

Play.

We all love to do it, and we’re all naturals at play. Somewhere along the line we were all told that it has to be left behind in childhood.

The Flying Raccoon believes that each time someone:

  • …takes a decision in the boardroom that maximises the bottom-line but compromises the environment…
  • …or can’t bear to get up in the morning to go to work…
  • …or chooses the same meal in the same restaurant as they always do…

that they’ve taken this message too seriously. Let’s bring play back into people’s experience and in doing so give everyone fuller lives.

100 Days of Play

The blog

Hooray for… Escape Rooms

It feels like art mimicking life mimicking art. A new series of The Crystal Maze has been announced, after nostalgia prompted the building of a crowd-funded experience. And I think that this (momentous) event owes a lot to the craze for Escape Rooms.

If you’ve not been to one of these the concept is straightforward. You’re locked in a room and have an hour to figure out the puzzles and escape. Generally this is framed around some fantasy / sci-fi / mystery / espionage narrative, where an unseen antagonist hinders your fight for freedom.

Read the full blog post

Hooray for… the Board Game Renaissance

Maybe you’re aware of it. Maybe you’re not. But a board game renaissance is currently happening.
These board games – aka ‘tabletop games’ – are showing an unparalleled level of innovation in terms of both topics and dynamics. You might be exploring a forbidden island or conducting a seance to find a killer; identifying your hidden secret agents or relating the miserable tales of gothic families before their horrible deaths.

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How do you know when it’s time to stop playing?

One of the key elements that people who theorise about play point to is that when playing people want it to continue. ‘Just ten more minutes…’ is the refrain that tells you your kids are playing.

As someone who strongly advocates for play for people of all ages, you might think that I’d say the time to stop playing is never. And in a sense I certainly do say that. There’s no age at which you should stop playing – in fact I believe it’s vital that that age never arrives.

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Full Blog

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Come and Play With Me

I'd love you to join me on my 100 Days of Play journey

Just get in touch

Take a look at the calendar and let me know when you’d like to come and play, using the form below. And if you have any additional play suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Let's grab a coffee together

Available to chat / play / drink / eat

11 + 7 =

Who is the Flying Raccoon?

A bit about me and how I came to Play

Ben Ross

Chief Raccoon


Sorry – I can’t promise my hair will do this when we meet. This was in Martin Creed’s Balloons room when it was at The Hayward Gallery on London’s Southbank. It was surprisingly painful when hairs strayed into the path of the knots and became entangled. The exquisite joy of play!

Favourite Things

  • Pinball
  • Adventure playgrounds
  • Water, in all its forms

Background

  • BBC
  • TV / Online / Editorial / Curation
  • Executive Coaching
  • Lifelong Fun-Finder
  • Explorer
  • Lover of Life

Vital Statistics

  • Name: Ben Ross
  • Species: Human Being
  • Citizenship: The World (via the UK)

Who I’d Like To Meet

  • People who play
  • People who don’t play (yet!)
  • Teachers of play
  • People with wisdom
  • People with childlike innocence
  • You. Yes, you!

What's a Flying Raccoon?

How I came to find my spirit animal

The Esalen Institute

The perfect place to connect with your spirit


September 2016, the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California: I’m doing a workshop with the wonderful Lissa Rankin. She tells us one night to pay attention to signs of our spirit animal.

Mysterious Creature

An animal I’ve never seen before appears


“Cute”, I think, and want to approach the animal brazenly wandering around on the tables outside the lodge. “Don’t,” cautions another onlooker, “it’ll f*** you up!”. My spirit animal?

Next Morning

In the hot springs, a majestic flight


A bird appears on the horizon, a foot above the water. It flies this height, as they do, across the entire width of the horizon. Could the bird be my spirit animal?

A Moment of Enlightenment

Writing my morning pages, and contemplating


The truth comes to me. The raccoon is my spirit animal. The bird is my spirit animal. I am immutably drawn to both. The Flying Raccoon has shown itself to me, and guides me in Play.

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