The edgy mama organizers of this year’s Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival have ramped up activities for the kidlings at the funky street fest.
In past years, the center of the action has been painting a donated old car that’s raffled off after being coated with many colors and studded with plastic figurines. There will be an art car again this year, although LAAFF organizer Kitty Love notes that children working on the art car will be more closely supervised than in the past.
“Every year, little ones paint over some really beautiful stuff, so this year we’re guiding things a bit more. There will be a kid’s bike and a small plastic car for everybody under 3 feet to paint,” she says.
And there will be lots of other crafty stuff for kids to enjoy, including building giant creatures – such as a squid—from recycled materials. Organizer Katie Elkins says the creation of the squid’s armature is underway, and she hopes both kids and adults will complete the project by decorating the critter with fabric, yarn, metal, beads and other findings.
Once the squid is complete, Katie plans to attach LED lights to the bottom of its tentacles and parade it around the festival, with help from some of the creature’s kid creators. Organizer Laura “Lulu” Edmonds asks that folks bring recyclables with them to add to the creature, including metal, paper, plastic bottles, etc.
Other crafty activities at LAAFF will include transforming reclaimed T-shirts into useable grocery sacks and making dragonfly wands to promote fluttering around the fest. The kids’ area will be in the parking lot next to Heiwa. At some point, kids’ music and storytelling will blossom. I’m guessing there will be hula hoops around as well.
Kid activities at LAAFF close down around sundown, because Lulu needs to perform with Unifire (this gal is a kids’ librarian, LAAFF kids’ area organizer AND a fire dancer). Also, the party’s on a Sunday night (Sept. 7), and Monday’s a school day. Finally, as much as I love the local hippie scene at LAAFF, it can get a bit wild after dark.
You’ve heard this from me before, but here’s your packing list if you’re planning on taking the kids to a street festival: sunscreen, ball caps, water bottles (filled with H20), snacks (major money saver), a couple of bandanas (when you’re desperate for a tissue/wipe/napkin), hand sanitizer and a permanent marker.
Most of these items are self-explanatory. The least obvious, but most important, is the permanent marker. Even if your kids know your cell-phone number by heart, the moment they wander off in the crowd and can’t find you, all relevant identification information will disappear from their anxious brains.
I use the permanent marker to temporarily tattoo my cell phone number on the inside of my kids’ arms. If they get lost, I tell them to find someone who looks like a mommy and ask her to call the number. This is LAAFF, so I’ll tell them that anyone in a fairy costume will do as well.
So don’t forget to LAAFF. And bring the kids.