Kicking off the five-month long "Playful Providence 2013" celebration of the Providence's status as a Playful City, "Pop Up Play Day" is a free public celebration of child-directed free play. Held at India Point Park, the event will feature a Pop-Up Adventure Playground -- an interesting assortment of everyday "loose parts" like sticks and branches, cardboard boxes, fabric and other open-ended materials, with which kids and families can build forts, design structures, invent imaginative playthings and more. The celebration also includes playful activity stations like weaving, wood working and instrument making, plus lively music and a short speaking program. "Playful Providence" and "Pop-Up Play Day" are planned to highlight the critical importance of children’s unstructured, self-directed play for their healthy development. Research shows that play is essential for social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth, yet kids’ time and opportunities for play are increasingly limited. "Playful Providence" events held from May through September 2013 will engage kids and families across the city in play, plus promote the Partnership for Providence Parks and draw attention to the important role that volunteer parks groups and community partners have in making great places to play. Sat., May 11, noon - 5 p.m. Free. All ages. India Point Park, India St., Providence, RI. www.providenceparks.org
Photo by Pop-Up Adventure Play
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.