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Children Wanted: Sand Cupcakes in the Tifft Mud Kitchen

How often do we long for simpler, more peaceful times in which to raise our kids?

The Pop Up Playdate Café aims to create such a space, happening this Saturday morning, March 25, 10 am to 12 pm, at Tifft Nature Preserve. Against the backdrop of Buffalo skies, tall grasses, and the birds of Lake Kirsty quietly paddling or flying by, young children can play their own games and make friends while their parents visit nearby.

The playdate is hosted by The Backyard Atelier, an outdoor, play-based early childhood program that draws inspiration from the Adventure Playground movement (playwork), Reggio Emilia Approach and Forest schools of Europe. By creating a curated space that prioritizes each child’s play agenda, children are encouraged to explore their interests, questions and big ideas through open-ended, child-directed, loose parts play.

Invite your friends and family to join you for a chance to step away from it all, watch your children happily craft their own play making with sand cupcakes in the Tifft Mud Kitchen, story telling play with small animal figures, or building a fortress with wood blocks under the large trees. Ideal for small children up to about age seven, all family members are welcome.

Register online by midnight Friday, and you can also advance order fresh, locally-made Butter Block pastries with Tipico Coffee. Pastry selections for March include Salted Caramel Pop Tart, Poached Pear Danish, Almond Croissant, and Pain au Chocolat.

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Written by Arete


Megan Mills Hoffman, Alaskan-born and raised, arrived in Buffalo in 2003 thinking she'd stay for a few months, much like her other brief sojourns in Missoula, Montana; Oxford, Mississippi; Portland, Oregon; and Albany, New York. Then she discovered Wegman's cheese aisle and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House, the first of which reminded her of her mother's experience living outside Manchester, England and the second of her father's experience in construction in Alaska. While discovering Buffalo's others treasures, she worked with Buffalo Rising as it first expanded online, the Burchfield Penney Art Center's New Museum Project, Buffalo State College, Western New York Land Conservancy, Young Audiences, and The Gow School. She has served on the boards of the Allentown Association, Mandala School, Western New York Environmental Alliance, and Field and Fork Network. With a B.S. in Sociology and twenty plus years of experience working in community development and grassroots organizations, she has embraced, developed, launched, and established, to varying degrees of success, a variety of local social movements, all directed at changing the way we think about our education and learning. She lives in a small town south of Buffalo, much like the one she grew up in, with her Buffalo-born husband, daughter, and Bernese Mountain dog.

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