Sponsored by Humana Foundation

Best Practices in Play

In municipalities across America, engaged citizens and civic leaders are actively seeking innovative ways to improve the accessibility, quality, and quantity of play and play spaces for children. To help cities build awareness and political capital and develop a policy on play, KaBOOM! identified 12 relevant and innovative best practices in play.

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Nonprofit Innovation


Learning Landscapes (pdf)
Denver, CO
Mobilizing community, connecting schools to neighborhoods

The Switch® Program (pdf)
Cedar Rapids, IA
Changing critical health behaviors, measuring and incentivizing healthy habits

The Freiker Program (pdf)
Boulder, CO
Technology-based program, rewarding physical activity, increasing bike trips to school

Playworks (formerly Sports4Kids) (pdf)
Baltimore, MD
Improving student behavior, changing school culture, programming school recess



Mayoral Champions


Joint-Use Agreements with Tucson Unified School District (pdf)
Tucson, AZ
Reducing maintenance costs, conducting play space safety audits

Play 'N' Close to Home (pdf)
St. Petersburg, FL
Increasing play space within walking distance

Boston Schoolyard Initiative (pdf)
Boston, MA
Reconstructing schoolyards, improving green spaces, engaging community



Public Private Partnership


Joint-Use Agreements with Home Owners Associations (pdf)
Greenbelt, MD
Increasing playground access, improving maintenance

Governing Through Citizen Engagement (pdf)
Ankeny, IA
Engaging stakeholders, creating master plans, securing donors

ParkScan and the Playground Report Card (pdf)
San Francisco, CA
Computer-based mapping and data collection

Streets as Places to Play (pdf)
New York, NY
Developing strategic alliances, expanding playable space

High Point Housing Project (pdf)
Seattle, WA
Integrating government agency plans, successful play spaces in mixed income community



Recommendations and Play Policy


Recommendations and Play Policy (pdf)
Initiative Process Recommendations
Play Policy Recommendations
National Play Policy in the 21st Century