[Sponsored]  West Kowloon Cultural District‘s regular arts event – Freespace Happening – presents games and crafts workshops from ohmykids, for children below the age of 12. Come on down to West Kowloon Art Park this Saturday and Sunday to find out more.

Photo: ohmykids.

Let the children roam free at ohmykids’ playground, featuring equipment designed for kids by the kids from Baptist Rainbow Primary School. The quirky play space contains everything from a scaffolding slide, an intricate maze, to a four-legged tyre “octopus.”

For those who want to build something entirely new, head on down to the bamboo play zone and let your imagination run wild. The motto for this month’s activity is: “Let kids be the builders of their own playground.”

Map of the ohmykids playground at Freespace Happening on March 9 and 10, 2019. Photo: ohmykids.

ohmykids was founded in 2012 with the aim of breaking the educational mould. Helen Lo, co-founder of the company, told HKFP that their aim is to develop children’s soft skills through a wide range of activities.

“We believe that when you’re intrigued you learn and absorb information the best,” she said.

Photo: Freespace Happening.

ohmykids is set to host around 10 market stalls at Freespace Happening a day, run by vendors under the age of 12. Lo, a former children’s drama educator, told HKFP the company wants to encourage children to come up with a business idea and put it into practice. “It’s one thing to roleplay, but it’s another thing to actually run a business originated from your idea,” she said.

Photo: ohmykids.

The aim, according to Lo, is to build up confidence in children. “We put a lot of trust in kids to showcase their abilities,” she said. “At first the kids are often timid and shy to approach customers, they might just wait for clients to come. But after a while, even after a few hours, they see that going out of their marquees and reaching out to clients is more effective.”

Photo: Freespace Happening.

ohmykids also encourages children to find alternative ways to have fun using existing materials, including participant Sirius, 7, who has designed a complex maze out of bamboo.

“We don’t want to tell them how to play, we want them to explore how to play,” Lo said.

Sirius with bamboo. Photo: ohmykids.

On top of the playground facilities, ohmykids will put your creative skills to the test with special 50-minute bamboo upcycling workshops at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm and 5:30pm. For those with musical ears, Orff4kids is set to host green concerts from 3:30pm-4pm, and again at 5pm-5:30pm. And get ready to be thrilled with special lion dance performances from 4:15pm-4:45pm, held in collaboration with Hong Kong Soka Kindergarten, Hong Kong Spunk Dragon and Lion Dance Sport Association.

Alongside ohmykids, adults can enjoy a range of activities at Freespace Happening. Why not visit a nice place to for their regular handicraft market? The team this month is also set to host a blindfold walk, in collaboration with Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong, where you explore the Art Park using your other senses.

Taking the stage this weekend are traditional Javanese meets avant-garde duo Senyawa on home-made instruments; contemporary French electro-pop band Las Aves; and US Ensemble Mik Nawooj will partner up MC Yan and local artists to bring a fresh take on rap genres across the board; new to Freespace are indie band Modern Children working with Romer Strings Quartet; bass trio “Lomantic” in partnership with CMgroovy@Majestic G, Jacky Man and Chan Siu-kei, alongside many more musical acts.

In addition, join dance artist Shilpika Bordoloi from India at WE Dance for a workshop on indigenous Indian dance and an excerpt performance of the contemporary Majuli.

The highly anticipated “Freespace Mixtape Vol. 2” is also set to launch this weekend, alongside eight local cross-genre newcomers who will join featured musicians on stage.

Freespace Happening is a regular arts event that has brought over 170,000 visitors to West Kowloon from August 2015 to March 2018. Make sure to follow West Kowloon Cultural District on Facebook for upcoming events, or download the Freespace Happening app which includes programme schedules and an interactive map so you don’t miss out.

Date: Saturday, March 9-10, 2019.
Time: 2pm-9:15pm, 2pm-7:05pm.
Venue: West Kowloon Art Park, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Entry: Free (registration applicable to certain workshops).

Visit Freespace Happening’s website, or ohmykids’ website for more information.

Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.