If you’ve never brought your kids to a pop-up park, then you don’t know what you’re missing. The idea behind a pop-up park is simple. Instead of catering to the hands of commercialism, this grassroots setup is designed to stimulate an unfettered creative drive that is possessed by all children.
Yesterday, a free pop-up park unfolded at the corner of Fillmore and French, on the city’s East Side. A group of organizers and volunteers rolled in commando style, with truck, tables, tools, food and water, to supply children with the necessary ingredients needed to build whatever their brains could muster. By the end of the day, there was a house, a chair (complete with cup holder), a scooter, and myriad other constructed objects that came to life via the imagination of youngsters. Children from all over the city were invited to attend the inspirational undertaking.
There’s something so refreshing, watching kids come together to wield tools and build, using their hands, their minds, and retaining important ‘free play’ skills in the process. These pop-up exercises promote team building at a young and impressionable age. The kids that interact with each other and the ever-helpful organizers, come away with a sense of accomplishment that can not be emphasized enough.
Not only do kids get to build whatever they feel like, they get to meet children from different neighborhoods. This is not simply about building objects, it’s about building a community. Ultimately, it’s about teaching kids that their immediate environment is the ultimate playground.
It doesn’t take money, it takes imagination. It’s about being outdoors with friends and family, learning to live life to the fullest in simple yet powerful ways. It’s about connecting with nature, exploring surroundings, being inquisitive, sharing with others, and growing up to be kind, inclusive, resourceful leaders in our immediate community and beyond.
Yesterday’s pop-up park was made possible thanks to the joint efforts of Pop Up Park Buffalo, Masjid Nu’Man, Inc, and Fillmore Forward.