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"Play. That's the best way kids learn -- doing something they enjoy." Trish Thomas, America's Most Playful Family Contest winner
Kids these days are overscheduled. With parents constantly rushing them from one structured activity to the next, precious little time remains for them to pursue their own agendas. And when they do have free time, many kids are so terrified of boredom that they default to TVs, video games, and computers for a constant, instant stream of entertainment.
As our CEO and Founder Darell Hammond argues, in the right environment, boredom can actually be a good thing for kids. Suz Lipman -- the creative force behind the blog, Slow Family Online, and a special guest presenter for next week's online workshop -- encourages folks to: "Slow down. Enjoy lost arts and each other. Trade frenzy for fun."
Many of us yearn to slow down and fully enjoy all the seasons. Summer, with its longer days, warmer temperatures, and looser schedules, offers tremendous opportunities to actually do so and, as a bonus, to have fun outdoors. Many of summer's outdoor activities allow us to be uniquely and fully present, whether blowing a bubble and watching it sail away on a breeze, playing tag on a warm night, teaching a child to tend a garden, or counting stars in a darkening sky.
"Slow Down for Summer" will give you lots of ways to get outside this summer, and fun and simple things to do once you get there. You'll learn about:
Suz will be joining KaBOOM! next Thursday, June 30 at 2 p.m. EST to share tips and ideas in our online workshop, "Slow Down for Summer." Register now!
UPDATE: This workshop can now be viewed on demand here.
What do you do when you’re committed to a vision that you can’t realistically achieve? In 2004, we at KaBOOM! had to ask ourselves this tough question. After years of double-digit growth leading playground builds across the United States, we realized that we were not growing fast enough to ensure that every child in America has a great place to play within walking distance.
“The reality was, we were only making a dent in the problem,” says our COO Bruce Bowman. “We were building hundreds of playgrounds when we needed to be building thousands.”
After some hand-wringing, we decided to act. The report released today by The Monitor Institute, Breaking New Ground: Using the Internet to Scale: A Case History of KaBOOM!, outlines our strategy to give away our non-profit model online for free to empower others to act on our behalf. While the idea of giving away a non-profit model itself isn’t new, we are one of the first non-profit organizations to put this approach online.
Today, visitors to our website can take advantage of our Playground Project Planner and online trainings to fund, plan, recruit for and execute a DIY playground build in their community. In 2009, our online outreach efforts helped people build more than 1,600 do-it-yourself (DIY) playgrounds in communities around the United States—almost as many as we have assembled directly over the past 14 years.
For more about the challenges we faced and the seven key lessons we learned while pioneering an online strategy to scale our impact, see a summary of the case study or download the whole study here: