As a child, do you remember the fascination felt upon seeing a bulldozer at work? A fire truck zoom by with it’s lights on and sirens blaring? A tractor pulling crops? Trucks and other vehicles sparked hours of play for children across the country. On April 6th, 2013, the Playful City USA community of Safety Harbor, Florida will host the first annual Truck-N-Play Play Day.
A play day inspired by trucks and the fun they bring, almost 2,000 children and community members are expected to attend. Truck-N-Play Day was inspired by Safety Harbor’s successful city tradition of Touch A Truck Day, where children could interact with a number of interesting vehicles. Safety Harbor wanted to take a successful, well attended, and sought after event and combine it with a brand new Play Day. By combining events, Safety Harbor will reach a larger crowd to spread the importance of Play and celebration their Playful City USA recognition.
About the Event: The Truck-N-Play Day will feature different Play Zones for children to enjoy. Zones include a jump rope station, bubbles, shoe golf, face painting, arts and crafts, and hopscotch. To go with the theme of the day, there will be a construction Play Zone and a Sand Pit to encourage use of the trucks. The event will help build the imagination of children in the community, promote social interaction, and physical development.
Julie Inman, Recreation Facility Manager of Safety Harbor, hopes that the day forms Family memories, increases education found from play, creates new traditions started for families, and new partnerships for the community that make play important. The event will allow “families to get a chance to try new activities together many may become involved in many of our community organizations and activities because they were given a chance to try it out. It allows our whole community to become a kid again, to let go and just play. We are most excited about families spending time together, having Fun and getting a chance to PLAY together!”
Community Involvement: Truck-N-Play Play Day is involving a wide number of organizations from across the community. The play day coordinator formed a play taskforce to plan the event. The taskforce recruited volunteers and sponsors for the different areas of the event. Volunteers are bringing vehicles, running play zones, and donating to ensure the event is a success. The local Boy Scout troop is running a “Raingutter Regatta,” which will allow kids to make boats out of recycled material and race them. By involving members of the community and different organizations to be involved, the community gains a sense of ownership for the event and the parks.
KaBOOM! Impact: Julie Inman believes that support from Playful City USA “assists in great ways. Knowing that we have organizations preserving play for our future generations is both reassuring and greatly appreciated.”
Spreading the News: Safety Harbor is utilizing online sources such as the city website, social media (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube), and Patch (the local online news site). In addition, the city issued press releases, placed banners in the parks, on Main Street and on light poles. Citizens can read about the event in REAL Magazine (a direct mailing to all residents). By combining different methods of marketing, more citizens will be likely to hear about the event, thus increasing levels of attendance.
We can’t wait to see pictures of this creative play day. If you would like to host a play day for your city, sign up for the Play Day Tool Kit provided by KaBOOM!