Playful City USA founding city Yuma, Arizona has been making play a priority for its residents since 2007. In order to increase the number of children in the community with access to play, Yuma applied for and received an Imagination Playground in a Box, an innovative new tool that brings a whole new type of play to children.
The Imagination Playground consists of three main elements to make the most beneficial and fun experience for children. Imagination Playground is a manipulable environment, meaning children can use multiple different materials to create the environment they want to play in. Imagination Playground uses Loose Parts that allow each play session to become its own new adventure. Finally, Imagination Playground features trained Play Associates that create a friendly, safe, and secure setting for children to enjoy.
When local teacher Jenna Watson (a supporter of the Playful City USA program) heard about the Imagination Playground grants from KaBOOM!, she urged fellow teachers to make time for the Imagination Playground in their classrooms. The play time with the Imagination Playground was a success because children loved the freeness and creativity they accessed during their time with the materials.
Yuma brings their Imagination Playground in a Box, fondly called “the Box,” to a variety of different community events such as park dedications, the annual Taco Festival, teen night, and the Come Out & Play Day