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.
Become a Community Partner
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.
Playful City USA Program Details
What is Playful City USA?
Playful City USA is an application-based national recognition program honoring cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children active, playing, and healthy. Playful City USA communities make a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the access to play in their community. In doing so, some of the most innovative concepts and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful City USA communities.
In the seventh year of the annual program, 16 communities received recognition for the seventh consecutive year, while 37 claimed their first Playful City USA designation.
How does your city qualify?
Playful City USA designees map local playspaces, complete a needs assessment, and develop an action plan that identifies a minimum of three policies, programs, or initiatives aimed at increasing access to play at school, in neighborhoods, and through community engagement.
Map Local Playspaces
Learn more about the number, quality, and location of playspaces in your city by conducting a playspace audit. Use this research to identify Play Deserts—child rich, playspace poor areas.
Complete a Needs Assessment
Evaluate existing play policies and initiatives in the community and determine areas that could be strengthened or where new programs can be developed.
Share Best Practices
Highlight three best practices based on your needs assessment that provide the framework to implement a minimum of three policies or programs. Improve access to play at school, in neighborhoods, and through community engagement.
Benefits of being a Playful City USA community
- Exclusive access to 103 Let’s Play Grants worth $2.1 million between 2011–13.
- Inclusion in national publications spotlighting your city’s best practices in play.
- Street signs identifying your community’s commitment to children.
- Customized marketing kit and online tools to celebrate the Playful City USA recognition.
- Access to free instructional trainings led by experts that feature replicable programs and policies.
- Connections to a network of city and municipal leaders.
- Competitive advantage for state and national grant opportunities.
- Inclusion in national advertising and public relations campaigns.
- Financial support to attend conferences focusing on play policies, city and state leadership, health, and urban planning.
- Recognition status embraced by realtors, visitor bureaus, developers, and investors to highlight your community as a great place to raise healthy and happy children.
Read what mayors had to say about the recognition from some of our Playful City USA communities.
ParkScan and the Playground Report Card (pdf)
San Francisco, CA
Computer-based mapping and data collection
Joint-Use Agreements with Home Owners Associations (pdf)
Increasing playground access, improving maintenance