Our Dream Playground
Our new step-by-step project planner offers the money and know-how to make your playground dreams come true.
Tools and Resources
Get funding, learn the nuts and bolts of building a great place to play, and improve your local playground.
Build it with KaBOOM!
Build a great place to play for your community with the help of your neighbors, friends, KaBOOM! and our Funding Partners.
Save Play in Your Community
Get tips, ideas, and inspiration for making your community more playful.
Playful City USA
Our Playful City USA program recognizes cities and towns that embrace play as a priority.
Our collection of books will inspire you to bring more play to your family, neighborhood, and community at large.
What We Do
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play for America’s children.
Who We Are
We are peppy, purple-adorned people who passionately promote the power of play!
Partner With Us
Our partners help us to create new playgrounds and to spread the word about the importance of PLAY.
Youth Engagement Activity Guide: Side Projects for Youth Involvement on Build Day
What is youth engagement?
We believe youth engagement is a critical way to connect the work of volunteers in their communities with the work of students in their classrooms, community centers, parks, neighborhoods and homes. Children who service learn will engage with the issues affecting their communities and grow into active adult citizens.
Objectives of youth engagement
- Help children learn about larger social issues addressed by the service project.
- Develop life and classroom skills in conjunction with the project.
- Complete a worthwhile service project that helps the community.
- Reflect on any challenges and celebrate the accomplishments of the project.
Youth engagement is a teaching method that combines academic instruction, meaningful service, and critical reflective thinking to enhance student learning and civic responsibility. Youth engagement differs from community service or volunteerism in two major ways: 1) The service activity is integrated with academic curriculum and content, and 2) Students engage in structured reflection of their service experiences and apply their learning in real-life activities.
An effective youth engagement project helps students learn and develop through participation in organized service that meets the needs of their communities. Youth engagement projects should be coordinated with an educational or community service program. The project should provide structured time for students to reflect on the service experience. Ultimately, participation in youth engagement activities will help to foster civic responsibility among students.
Implementation for KaBOOM! builds
KaBOOM! strives to increase the integration and connection of children and youth into the planning and implementation of community-built playspace projects from Design Day through to Build Day and even through to the maintenance and upkeep of the playspace. The KaBOOM! community-build model instills confidence and creativity in the community, empowering and inspiring citizens to continue working to create positive change in their communities. These impacts can and should extend to children, as they are equally important members of a community.
The youth engagement plan deliberately integrates children into the community-build process. The activity guide includes lesson plans that parallel the activities that would be undertaken by a community-build playground planning committee. The lesson plans are meant as a guide and can certainly be modified to meet the needs and desires of your students and the community. They follow the PARC model: Preparation, Action, Reflection and Celebration. Each activity should integrate these four elements for maximum effectiveness with students.