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"Play is invaluable in returning a sense of safety, normalcy, and health." Courtney, KaBOOM! Project Manager
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.
KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. We do this by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.
To achieve our vision, KaBOOM! works to catalyze and create great places to play, empower advocates to promote and protect play, and elevate public discourse around the importance of play
We believe play matters for all kids, because all the science affirms that play is critical to a child’s overall health, development and well-being. Moreover, play can help tackle a number of urgent issues plaguing our society — especially those endemic among low-income communities.
The problem is that America’s kids are playing less than any previous generation. In part, this is because kids ages eight to 18 now spend almost half of their days in front of screens instead of engaging in active play. Only one in four children gets 60 minutes of physical activity or active play every day.
As play has decreased, obesity rates and behavioral and cognitive disorders have increased. Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, and in 2011, the decline of play was linked to suicide rates that have quadrupled among teenagers under the age of 15, along with the rise of depression and anxiety in kids and young adults. And, of course, schools without recess face more incidents of classroom behavioral problems, from kids’ emotional outbursts to problems interacting with their peers and teachers.
But there is reason to be hopeful: the promise of play.
Kids who have play as part of their school day, do better in school, become better team players, and develop into more creative thinkers — and they are much more likely to carry these skills into adulthood.
The bottom line: Kids who play are happier, smarter, and more social creatures — as are their communities! They stand a stronger chance of developing into happy, healthy, smart, successful adults than kids who do not.
This is why KaBOOM! is dedicated to giving all kids the play they deserve by bringing together parents, advocates, and Community and National Partners to ensure that kids have the opportunity to play every day, everywhere.