KaBOOM! News

Play is a Bestseller!

Suddenly, everyone is talking about play – and that’s because our Founder and CEO’s memoir, KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, is a national bestseller!

KaBOOM! is number 4 on The New York Times Bestseller list, number 7 on The Wall Street Journal Bestseller List, number 49 on the USA Today Bestseller list. When the book launched on April 26, it also ranked number one on Amazon.com! 







This exciting exposure gives us a unique opportunity to introduce folks across the country to our movement to save play. It’s our goal to move the national conversation about play to mass community-based action. We want to see moms, dads, educators, and advocates like you improving and building local playgrounds, mapping the state of play in your community, and rallying to save play for your neighborhood children.

Get started by hosting a book party to get your friends and neighbors talking about play! Download our DIY Book Party Toolkit.

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KaBOOM!, the book, launches today! 5 things you can do to get people talking

Our CEO and Founder's long-anticipated book, KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, launches today and already ranks among Amazon's top 10 bestsellers! This represents an tremendous opportunity to grow our movement and to enlist moms, dads, teachers, and community advocates nationwide in the fight to save play.

Help us keep up the momentum! Here are five things you can do get people talking:


  1. Buy the book for a family member or a friend. Remember, 100% of author proceeds go to KaBOOM!.
  2. Spread the word to your social media networks. Tweet about the book or like and share Darell Hammond's Facebook page.
  3. Rate and review the book on Amazon.
  4. Host a book party! Download our DIY Book Party Toolkit to share the book with your community and to party in the name of play.
  5. Put play on the agenda for your next book club meeting. Download our Book Club Discussion Guide to get the conversation started.

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All in a Day's Play: Palm Bay, Florida makes Recreation a Priority

On one Saturday each year, the residents of a peaceful city just miles south of where spaceships fly and where magic fills the imagination, play becomes the way of life. From sunrise to sunset, Palm Bay, a Playful City USA Community on the east coast of Central Florida, turns into a 100-square-mile playground, offering more than 100 playful activities for kids and adults alike.

Want to befriend manatees while kayaking along the Turkey Creek Sanctuary? Practice target shooting at the local outdoor rifle and pistol range? Play a good old-fashioned game of baseball? There's something for everyone at the annual Palm Bay Play Day, which attracted nearly 5,000 participants this year. Play Day also offers area businesses and civic groups an opportunity to participate, and to introduce their preferred form of play to potential new members and customers. 

"This day is a win-win for everyone involved," said Joseph Fazekas, Parks and Recreation Division Manager for the City of Palm Bay and coordinator of the annual Play Day events. "It offers our residents a chance to get out and become active, and they may discover something they really enjoy."




Whether skateboarding or scuba diving, participants experienced things they always wanted to try without having to commit to a class or a membership. "Play is important through every stage of life," Fazekas added.  "It's gratifying to disprove there is nothing to do."

Learn more about our Playful City USA Program.

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KaBOOM! named one of the 50 best nonprofits to work for in the U.S.—AGAIN!

We’re thrilled to announce that KaBOOM! has made The NonProfit Times' list of “50 Best Nonprofits to Work For”—for the second year in a row! We wholeheartedly agree. After all, how many offices have a tire swing in the lobby? Hopscotch in the hallways? Bottomless supplies of PB&J in the kitchen?

These little perks are just the tip of the iceberg.  In honor of making The NonProfit Times’ list yet again, we’d like to resurrect the “Top 10 reasons we love working at KaBOOM!” They are every bit as true today as they were a year ago:

KaBOOM! gear

Cool gear

All new Boomers are given a purple polo, a sweatshirt, a T-shirt and a backpack. Whether we’re building playground, going on a weekend hike or just heading to the office, we wear our gear with pride!

Office space

Office space

Forget the drab grays and browns that define most office spaces. Our offices are painted in our signature colors—orange and purple—and the walls themselves are enough to brighten even the gloomiest of days. We adorn our workspaces with colorful name tags that we draw ourselves on chalkboards, and we hold meetings in conference rooms with names like “Sunny,” “Babble On” and “Play Pen.”

Play equipment at KaBOOM! office

Play equipment

The first things to greet Washington, DC Boomers when they walk in the door each morning are a slide and a tire swing. Between our three offices, we also have Imagination Playground blocks, a foosball table, a ping pong table, kazoos and an abundance of arts and crafts materials. We all know children need to play, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t play, too!

Culture Captain

Just having play equipment doesn’t mean it always gets utilized, so each month, two Boomers in each office are designated as Culture Captains. The Culture Captains are charged with planning a fun team-building activity or event that everyone can participate in. Past events have included musical chairs, pumpkin decorating contests, scavenger hunts and costume contests.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

PB&J days

Because eating well and playing well are both essential to good health, each month, Boomers get a chance to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy lunch together. The kitchen is turned into an a-la-carte deli with cheeses, meats, veggies, chips, salads and beverages set up for an elementary-school cafeteria feast! And of course, we don’t skimp on the PB&J—because there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich to reawaken your inner child.

Play Academy

Play Academy

Each year all KaBOOM! staff from all three offices get together for a multi-day retreat, where we do a lot of learning, a lot of planning and a lot of playing! Past Play Academy activities have included creating our own board games, acting in “Boomerpiece Theater” and singing karaoke. This past year we got our CEO and CFO up on the karaoke stage; if only we had video footage!


We not only take the time to appreciate and recognize other Boomers for a job well done—we do it playfully! When Boomers start at KaBOOM!, they get a sandbox bucket and a shovel notepad. The notepad is to write notes of appreciation for coworkers (called “giving sand”) and the sandbox is to collect notes from others. In 2006, an incredible 65% of Americans received no recognition in the workplace. Our deliberate sandbox practice ensures that 100% of Boomers are given credit where credit is due.

KaBOOM! staff 2010

Amazing coworkers

Not everyone has what it takes to be a Boomer. Our extensive, selective hiring process helps ensure that all Boomers have a “can do, will do” spirit and are always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. While Boomers are an incredibly diverse bunch, we all share a commitment to service; a passion for children and communities; and an uncanny zest for life, work and play.

KaBOOM! volunteers

Amazing volunteers

Of course, we couldn’t do what we do without our dedicated and spirited volunteers! Any Boomer can tell you how gratifying it is to help recruit a community member to our cause, unleash their creativity, and then step back and watch them blossom! There’s only so much that our 80+ Boomers can do, and our volunteers enable, amplify and support our efforts.

KaBOOM! thank you card

Satisfaction of a job well done

At KaBOOM! we get results. Whether we’re calling clients, answering web queries or wielding a sledge hammer, all of us know that we are part of a collective effort with a measurable, positive impact on society. With nearly 2,000 playground builds under our belt, a vibrant and growing online community, and support from a long list of celebrities and sponsors, we can come to work each day knowing that we’re doing our part to strengthen communities and restore play in the lives of our nation’s children.

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Join our CEO & Founder for a free online Q&A

Ever wonder how our CEO and Founder, Darell Hammond, was inspired to save play? Want to know why play is something worth saving? Curious how a man who grew up in a group home with his seven brothers and sisters, and who dropped out of school because of a learning disability, managed to build one of the most successful nonprofits in our nation’s history?

You’ll have a chance to ask Darell these questions and more in one of our upcoming live online Q&As. He will share some of the personal struggles and triumphs that he relates in his soon-to-be-released book, KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, and then open the floor to your questions. By providing helpful tips for concrete actions you can take to save play in your community, Darell hopes that these conversations will leave you feeling empowered and inspired.

Don’t miss out – sign up today, and come prepared with questions!

 To learn more about KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, visit kaboom.org/book.

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Help get play on the best seller list!

If our CEO and Founder's soon-to-be-release book, KaBOOM: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, can make The New York Times best seller list, our movement to save play will gain tremendous momentum. With your help, this book could inspire moms, dads, teachers, and elected officials across the country to talk about the Play Deficit and what we can do about it.

Here's how you can help: make a donation of $15 or more to KaBOOM! by Friday, April 8th, in honor of our 15th birthday, and we'll send you a copy of the book. Not only will you support the movement to save play, but each book delivered gets us that much closer to The New York Times best seller list!

Think about what we could accomplish if this book inspires thousands more to join our cause! Please consider making a donation of $15 or more today and receive a copy of the book for yourself, or for someone in your life who might be inspired to take action.

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Parents build a playground in El Paso

“WE DID IT!!!” Leaders of the MJ Lundy Elementary School playground project were able to make this proclamation on January 29, after a playground that had been months in the making was built over the course of a single day.

Said Amy Bourne, the local school PTA Treasurer, at the beginning of the project, “The students of M.J. Lundy Elementary will soon be moving into a new school… However, the school is being built without a playground structure for the students in grades 2 - 5. These children are too young to not have a playground. Other than playing on the blacktop and an empty soccer field, there will be nothing to do.”

Parents at Lundy Elementary decided to take matters into their own hands. They started by registering their project on kaboom.org and creating a one-minute video to enter into our Promote Your Project Video Contest. Their entry was selected as one of 10 finalists:

After successfully fundraising over $45,000, the Lundy PTA took our community-based model to heart and recruited over 200 volunteers to help build the playground. Now, over 600 students will have a place to play during recess and after school.

The project, which was featured in the EL Paso Times and on a local news channel, speaks to the power of what a community can accomplish when they are motivated, organized, and tenacious.

See photos from the build day:




Please join us in congratulating MJ Lundy Elementary on a job well done! Learn more about the project and find out how to start your own on projects.kaboom.org.

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We want to hear from you

Thank you for making 2010 an incredible year for play! As we gear up for a new playground building season, we hope you will take our short survey so we can learn more about you and your commitment to play.

Each person who takes the survey will also be entered to win one of five "Outdoor Play Kits," containing a Frisbee, jump ropes, balloons and a pack of cards with dozens of fun new outdoor game ideas.

Your support, both moral and financial, gets us closer to our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Please take five minutes to complete our survey, and thanks in advance! 

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