Come out and play with KaBOOM!

September 15, 2009 Chicago has joined the national celebration! The Beverly Center, located at 3031 S. 25th Ave, Chicago is hosting a Play Day on Saturday, September 19 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. More than 500 community members are expected to gather for a day of play which includes sprucing up the park, a free BBQ and playing various playground games all in the name of play!

Danielle Trevek of KaBOOM will discuss a number of topics including:

  • The importance of play and the effects it has on children
  • What play means to you and your community
  • How to host your own Play Day in your town
  • KaBOOM! and many other other child-advocacy and health organizations including the American Heart Association advocate that kids play for at least an hour every day. KaBOOM! Play Days are an opportunity for communities to come together to improve their local parks and play spaces with clean-ups and simple enhancement and construction projects. Our vision is a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

    The KaBOOM! Vision is to have a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America; its Mission is to create great plays paces through the participation and leadership of communities

    For more information, visit

    KaBOOM! Play Day
    2 to 6 pm
    Saturday, September 19
    Beverly Center
    3031 S. 25th Ave.

    The big problem with too little play


    When we were growing up, the "lazy days of summer" meant kids would be out biking, swimming, playing flashlight tag and just being active and healthy. But for today's children, summers really are lazy. Instead of heading out in the morning, playing all day, and coming home for dinner, kids are spending their free time on the couch, and they're paying the price.

    Children are more overweight than ever, and research shows they are actually gaining weight over summer break. Today's children spend 50 percent less time outside than they did just 20 years ago, and according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids spend 6.5 hours a day with electronic media. And the problem is getting bigger and bigger. According to the CDC, the number of overweight children has doubled in the last 20 years, while the number of overweight teens has tripled.

    This lack of play time has become a national issue. First Lady Michelle Obama says, "We've got to get kids moving. We've got to get them active…Too many kids are sitting around watching TV, playing computer games…in order to stay healthy, children are supposed to get 60 minutes of activity every single day. [When] they're playing, they don't even know they're getting exercise."

    But what can be done to get kids active again? Part of the solution is as close as the neighborhood playground. Get your kids playing and active with friends by hosting a Play Day in your community. For a step-by-step guide and fun toolkit, visit and plan a Play Day for the week of September 19-27th. A KaBOOM! Play Day is a free, fun-for-the-whole-family outdoor event that celebrates play. It's a day to gather at your favorite park or playground and reconnect with your community. When you sign up, you'll get a free KaBOOM! Play Day Kit (valued at $100), tips, templates and much more in our Online Planner.


    Q. What is KaBOOM!?
    A. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds. We passionately believe that play has purpose, and that unstructured play in particular helps make children happier, fitter, smarter, more socially adept and creative. KaBOOM! inspires mass action for the cause of play, empowers individuals to take action on behalf of play and works to create play spaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Learn more about KaBOOM! here.

    Q. What is a KaBOOM!-led Build?
    A. From our inception in 1995, KaBOOM! has led over 1,500 playground construction projects that pair community leaders with funding partners who support our mission. These playgrounds are our hallmark, all-volunteer, done-in-a-day builds that serve as an achievable win for communities that need it most.

    Q. Will KaBOOM! build in my community?
    A. KaBOOM! funding opportunities are often determined by the corporate sponsor. Check our current list of opportunity cities. If your city isn't on the list, don't lose hope. The list changes every few months.

    If you are interested in building a play space with KaBOOM!, submit an application. KaBOOM! will keep your application in our system indefinitely for any corporate sponsorship opportunities that come to your area.

    Q. Does KaBOOM! offer grants for playgrounds?
    A. KaBOOM! offers funding opportunities through corporate sponsors (see question above for details) and also occasionally facilitates grant opportunities. Check out our grants page for details.

    Q. Can my company fund a KaBOOM! build?
    A. If your company is interested in funding a KaBOOM! Playground Project, please contact our Director of Development, Bridget Hankin at or call her at 202-464-6084. She would be more than willing to provide information on how to fund a KaBOOM! Project.

    Q. Can I volunteer for a playground build?
    A. Visit for the scoop on how to find a project in your area that needs volunteers, how to spruce up an existing play space, how to contribute to the KaBOOM! Play space Finder, and more.

    Q. Does KaBOOM! sell playground equipment?
    A. No. KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization that facilitates the partnership between communities and businesses to create equitable access to play opportunities for youth; we do not manufacture or sell equipment. However, we are proud to say that the play equipment industry is adapting to our successful community-build model. Due to consumer demand, many manufacturers now offer special materials for community builds. Visit Partners in Play for information about our current equipment suppliers.

    Q. What are KaBOOM! Do-It-Yourself Tools?
    A. Our Do-It-Yourself Tools are online resources, including trainings, challenge grants, our Toolkit, and other resources for communities that wish to plan and build a new play space on their own.

    Q. What is the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play?
    A. The KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play rallies individuals and communities to achieve better public policy, funding and public awareness for increased play opportunities. To help individuals achieve results on a grassroots level, we created the Playmaker Network, whose members are the eyes, ears and voice for play in their communities. In 2007, we launched another component of the campaign, the Playful City USA recognition program, which honors the efforts of cities that create an agenda on play.

    Q. What is the KaBOOM! Play space Finder?
    A. The KaBOOM! Play space Finder is an online tool that allows users to identify and rate parks across the country. Members comment about play space design, upload site photos, and include colorful descriptions of play spaces allowing anyone to perform coast-to-coast field research from their own computers

    Easy Ways to Increase Play in Your Day

    • Think playfully about play
    • Set a goal to play for at least 1 hour each day
    • Make a play date with your neighbors
    • Go to a Play Day

    Activities include:
    • Free BBQ
    • Playground games
    • Face painting
    • Wheel barrel races
    • Sprucing up the grounds by planting trees

    What is KaBOOM!?

    KaBOOM! is the national non-profit organization that is bringing play back into the lives of children, is working with communities across the nation to host more than 1,000 free, fun-for-the-whole-family Play Days during the week of September 19–28. Several events are planned for Chicago and the suburbs.

    What is Play?

    Play can be anything you make it! Whether you are outside jumping rope, playing tag, making a fort out of boxes, the sky's the limit!

    Why is Play important?

    • KaBOOM! and many other other child-advocacy and health organizations including the American Heart Association advocate that kids play for at least an hour every day.

    • Play purposely helps make children happier, more fit, smarter, more socially adept and creative.

    - The CDC reports that for children aged 6 to 19 years, upwards of 17 percent were overweight.

    How can you get involved in your community?

    • Attend a Play Day in your neighborhood such as The Beverly Center in Chicago, located at 3031 S. 25th Ave, on September 19 from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. More than 500 community members and children are expected to attend this free Play Day which will include activities such as playground games, face painting, wheel barrel races, sprucing up the grounds by planting trees, and enjoying a free BBQ all in the name of play!

    • Spruce up your neighborhood by planting trees and flowers. Working side by side, parents and kids can make a difference right in their own neighborhoods.

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