How can my class and children participate in FIGMENT? A guide for teachers and parents!

2014 FIGMENT Oakland pARTicipants (photo by Calista Chandler

(2014 FIGMENT Oakland pARTicipants! Photo by Calista Chandler)

 

As an inclusive, participatory event, FIGMENT creates an environment in which children and adults alike are invited to play. Though it is not specifically for kids, it attracts a large number of children and young families. It's an entirely free event in a big outdoor space, making it a perfect place for kids to run around and explore. At the same time, FIGMENT is not a “just for kids” environment. We often hear adults comment that they “feel like kids” at FIGMENT: given an opportunity, even adults are able to play, have fun, and look at the world with fresh eyes.

So, how can your children and students make the most of FIGMENT? We have some ideas and if you have more, please let us know in the comments!

For teachers: class participation!

Children enjoy that FIGMENT’s culture is about getting your hands dirty and working with others to create. At FIGMENT, it’s okay to touch. In fact, it’s encouraged. Part of the FIGMENT ethos is that education comes from engagement.

FIGMENT is a great place for a class project. Rather than making something in the classroom and bringing it to FIGMENT to exhibit, consider a project that your students can work on with others at the event. A big group mural, collages, an interactive game or theatre piece, a sculpture to which people add small pieces. It does not need to be something that event participants take home with them. It could be something to bring back to the classroom. Need some help? Submit your idea to FIGMENT and we can help you brainstorm!

Want to use FIGMENT as part of a class lesson? It can be viewed as a counterpoint to museums, stores and other festivals because it is free, encourages participation and does not sell anything. 

Dress for fun!

FIGMENT is a great place for personal expression. Many people of all ages wear costumes or other fun clothing. The event is outdoors and interactive projects range from sport-like games to building things to paint to impromptu dance parties. Consider that kids will probably want to move around a lot and might get messy when helping them pick an outfit for the day.

Bring toys!

As an outdoor event with lots of lawn space, FIGMENT is great for hula hoops, kites, sidewalk chalk and other portable outdoor games. 

Prepare for the outdoors!

FIGMENT is in a park, so prepare as you would for any day outdoors. Pack water, snacks, sunblock, jackets and hats to stay comfortable. Bring a picnic blanket so that you have a place to relax during the event. The well-behaved family dog is also welcome, as long as he or she is on a lease. Read more about what to bring.

Food:

We recommend packing a picnic lunch so that you can maximize your time at the event. Mosswood Park is in a residential neighborhood without many restaurants and there is no official food vending at FIGMENT, since the event is entirely noncommercial (read more about why). There may be some food trucks in the neighborhood, but we recommend packing something of your own. 

More ideas? Questions? Let us know in the comments and we can help you make the most of FIGMENT Oakland!


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