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.


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

Save some play for a rainy day

During my 100 Days of Play I realised fairly early on that a lifesaver was having a ‘backup’ play activity saved up for when I needed it. It was pretty easy for me to find myself fretting about how I might play on a given day – and getting stressed about the challenge wasn’t really the main emotion I was shooting for!

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What’s the Role of Play in Marking Social Occasions?

My friend got married recently, so the night before we drank lots, played some party games, listened to music and generally had an evening devoted to letting down our hair and to Play. It might seem a strange question to ask, but this got me thinking about what the role is of Play in marking major life changes.

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How Much Play Do You Need?

I heard from the brilliant Portia Tung over at The School of Play that those magical anonymous scientists are telling us we only need 10 to 15 minutes of play a day to make a real difference. I’m (obviously) a huge fan of play, so I’m not about to suggest that 10 minutes of play couldn’t revolutionise the life of someone who does none. I guess I’m just very sceptical that there really is anyone who doesn’t play even that much each day.

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Let's grab a coffee together

Available to chat / play / drink / eat

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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


  • 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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