Play is a cornerstone of early childhood education. However, recent trends of schoolification and school readiness have meant that academic learning and adult-guided play are often privileged over free play. The aim of this study was to explore how a service-learning experience, in the form of organising and running a pop-up playground for young children and their families, would promote learning about and advocacy for play among early childhood preservice teachers (PSTs). Thirty-six PSTs enrolled in a second-year early childhood education unit in an Australian University were required to advertise, organise and facilitate a loose parts playground at a local park as part of their coursework. PSTs were asked to reflect on their learning from the event. Findings suggest that a service-learning pop-up playground was highly successful in promoting PST learning about children’s play, loose parts and the adulteration of play. Learning about advocacy for play was less evident.