collaboration | May 12, 2022

Introducing Our Founder

By Blue Squirrel Team

Introducing Our Founder

Blue Squirrel was born from my personal experience. From 2020-2022, I had the experience that millions of other parents across the country and around the world had: months of school closures and virtual-learning gave me the chance to observe how my young children were learning, playing, and spending their time in a whole new light. Some of what my wife and I saw was great, but a good deal was seriously lacking. There was too much screen time, not enough time spent playing outdoors, and not enough attention given to the developmental aspects of play. I want to see my children playing in ways that pique their young imaginations, engage them physically, and push them mentally. Eager to find something that would motivate our kids to get outdoors, my wife and I looked for a playset.

But when it came to existing models, I was incredibly underwhelmed. The shopping experience was time consuming, the products were largely underwhelming relative to the high price points, delivery wait-time estimates seemed endless, and the added fees and expenses for shipping, delivery and installation added over 20%. Moreover, the customer service experience was stuck decades in the past, with slow response times, hands-off freight delivery, and 8 hour plus do-it-yourself assembly times.

After 25 years as a real estate developer, I set out to make my next development project my most impactful. Instead of building for adults, I decided to dedicate my next “development project” to my kids - and for all kids. As a proud #girldad of two little girls, I created the Clubhouse––Blue Squirrel’s inaugural outdoor playset product.


Along with a team of industrial product designers and engineers, I created the Clubhouse – Blue Squirrel’s inaugural outdoor playset – a modern take on a timeless product.  The Clubhouse seamlessly blends classic playground equipment (like monkey bars, a swing, climbing wall, and slide) with collaborative and creative playhouse accessories (like a soccer net, basketball hoop, window boxes, chalkboard, and the hidden hideaway behind the bookshelf) for hours of structured free play. 


With so many outlets for imaginative and creative play in our Clubhouse, we at Blue Squirrel intend to reinvent the backyard, creating the perfect space to safely empower our kids to learn life lessons through play-based learning. Our hope is that Blue Squirrel will help to raise the next generation of independent, curious, self-sufficient children through play experiences that remain in their memories for years to come.


John Mason, Founder & CEO, #girldad 

photo of John Mason with his two daughters

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