Putting Play In Every Day with Kaboom
So, we really love Kaboom! I mean, what's not to love? Their mission is to ensure all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play needed to thrive, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Amazing. So we were thrilled to hear about their 10 year anniversary and their plans to recognize over 200 communities as part of Playful City USA.
This is one of those ideas that is so genius and so simple at the same time. To qualify as a Playful City USA, these communities take steps to focus on the importance of not only children, but one of their most essential needs – play. Through policy changes, programs, and infrastructure investments, Playful City USA communities are driving a deeper understanding of the importance of play and engaging their citizens to reimagine cities with kids in mind.
So what does that mean? It can be as simple as taking a necessary space – say a bus stop or a laundromat – and making it a place that allows kids to do what they do naturally. So instead of a bench existing only as a place to wait for the bus, it might be a xylophone that allows them to play music. A sidewalk may be decorated with murals and allow for games of hopscotch. It's making cities kid-friendly in real and tangible ways that kids can recognize and appreciate. And it changes the scope of things, so instead of making a special trip to the park, the play is right where the kids need to be. It's about making fun accessible to all!
As Maggie Cooper, Manager of City Initiatives, notes, “Kids learn through play. They learn who they are, they learn self-awareness, they learn creativity and collaboration.”
Kaboom! is also looking to give out a million dollars to communities that are looking to expand opportunities for kids to play. These grants are available to anyone – artists, parents, teachers, community leaders – so it's worth learning more about. Check it out here.