Pop-up playgrounds encourage more activity for kids

SHARE Pop-up playgrounds encourage more activity for kids

Above: Girls playing at a PlayStreet on State and 112th streets. Photo provided by Catholic Charities

This summer,fun can be found right outside your doorstep.

The Chicago Department of Public Health alongsidea dozencommunity organizationswill create pop-up playgroundsto facilitate block parties aimed at keeping children active. By closing off city streets, the department plans to create more than 150 pop-up play spaces around Chicago, ranging from the North Side Uptown neighborhood to the South Side Roseland community.

As part of the PlayStreets program, thecity temporarily closes off residential streets to create space for children to ride their bikes, jump rope, draw with chalk or flop around in bounce houses. Activities take place for at least three hours. The Active Transportation Alliance,World Sport Chicago and Chicago Local Initiatives Support Corporationwill also help organize the events.

The playgrounds are free to use and supervised — a great option for money-conscious parents with kids out on summer break.

City officials said they look to bring PlayStreets to communities that have higher rates of childhood obesity and lack of access to green spaces. Another goal is to strengthen the closeness and communication between neighbors.

This initiative, now in its fourthyear, is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans to expand green spaces and play spaces in the city. Last year more than 26,000 people participated.

“I want every child in every neighborhood to get out and enjoy their community this summer,” Emanuel said in a statement.

PlayStreets events are scheduled to take place on bothweekdays and weekends. Theyare slated to run until late September.

Check the one nearest to you here.

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