KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

About KaBOOM!

Our Vision

All kids get the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.

At a Glance

Founded 1996
CEO James Siegal
Founder Darell Hammond
Offices Washington, DC; San Bruno, CA
# of Playspaces Built or Improved * 17,000+
# of Kids Served * 9 million+
# of Volunteers Engaged * 1.5 million+

* Since founding. Current as of December 2017


Better Business Bureau accredited charity

Highlights in KaBOOM! History

  • 1995: First KaBOOM! build takes place at Livingston Manor in Washington, DC.
  • 1996: KaBOOM! is officially founded.
  • 1997: Offer is made to "purchase" KaBOOM! by Ted Turner… offer refused.
  • 1999: We build our first universally accessible playground with AAOS.
  • 2001: We become the first nonprofit to have an ice cream flavor: Ben & Jerry's KaBerry KaBOOM!.
  • 2002: Our online playground project planner, Our Dream Playground, is created to help us scale our impact online.
  • 2003: We celebrate our 500th playground build at the Boys and Girls Club in Brampton, Ontario.
  • 2005: We launch Operation Playground in the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; First Lady Laura Bush attends playground build in Kiln, Miss.
  • 2006: Our Map of Play is created and KaBOOM! reaches $20 million in annual funding.
  • 2007: We establish our Playful City USA program and partner with Rockwell Group to develop Imagination Playground.
  • 2009: First Lady Michelle Obama and California First Lady Maria Shriver join us to build a playground at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco.
  • 2009: KaBOOM! is featured on NBC's Parks and Recreation; staff must still answer the question, "Wait, KaBOOM! is real?"
  • 2010: KaBOOM! is named one of the 50 Best Nonprofits to Work For by NonProfit Times in 2010 and 2011.
  • 2011: We celebrate our 15th birthday and 2000th playground build at Imagine Southeast Public Charter School in Washington, DC; First Lady Michelle Obama attends.
  • 2012: We moved down the street to a new headquarters
  • 2013: We hosted our first ever Playful City USA Leaders Summit in Baltimore, MD.
  • 2014: We introduce the idea of Playability to make cities more playful.
  • 2014: President Obama and the First Lady join KaBOOM! on the National Day of Service to build a playground and improve kids' lives through play.
  • 2015: We launch Play More B'More, mobilizing cross-sector partnerships to put kids first and enable youth apprentices to foster strong, healthy and safe kid-friendly neighborhoods in Baltimore.
  • 2016: We launch the Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition that awards $1 million in prizes to 50 winners across the U.S. who are committed to bringing play to everyday spaces, making play easy and available for kids and families.
  • 2017: Built the 3,000th KaBOOM! playground in our 22 year history.