In September, we asked you to submit your best shot of a happy child at play and to let us know why your family values play. After receiving nearly 500 submissions to our Joy of Play Photo Contest, we're pleased to announce the winners!
Traci Orr says: "Samson is a little shy, but being on the playground gives him a sense of fearlessness and helps him connect with other kids. Free play allows him to expand his imagination and express his creativity. It also helps us connect as a family and learn more about each other."
Angelyn Smith says: "Play helps us bond as a family. It helps us trust each other and appreciate each other's laughs and smiles. We value playing with our daughter as we want her to grow up seeing the world as an adventurous place."
Carly Morgan says: "Eva didn't start walking until almost 18 months and she was a very clingy, whiny baby because she couldn't get around easily. As soon as she took her first steps, we hit the local playgrounds and her independence just exploded! Now she launches herself down the slides without any help (or fear!) and she's sure to add a 'Yeah! Yeah, baby!' at the end to let us know she's proud of herself. She's almost as proud as we are!!"
Cynira Clay says: "My family values play because it gives the kids the opportunity to be kids and just explore the world on their own. We feel it’s necessary for child development socially and emotionally."
We've got all the facts and figures about why play matters, but perhaps what matters most is that play brings our kids joy.
That's why we're hosting our Joy of Play photo contest this fall. Submit your best shot of your joyful child at play and you could win a $500 holiday shopping spree!
We want to see those smiles, but we also want to know why your family values play. How does play help your child learn, grow and flourish? How has play helped them discover new things, develop new skills, or make new friends?
It's time to spread the joy!
Currently only one in five children lives within walking distance of a playground -- and you can help us change that. Are you ready to do some good? Join our national effort to map and rate every playground in America, and help us activate 200,000 people to do the same.
How? It's easy:
You may remember our Scary Playgrounds: Let’s Find ‘Em and Fix ‘Em contest last Halloween, when we asked for photos of playgrounds that were in desperate need of repair. Our grand prize winner, Dan Watson of Fredonia, Ariz. recently wrote to let us know what they’re doing with the $1,000 VISA Gift Card they received:
"We are still adding equipment to the park as we remodel our larger park.
The timing turned out really well, our local LDS ward was looking for a service project, so they helped paint the jungle gym, remove weeds from the basketball court, paint the court’s stripes and the basketball standards. We purchased curbing and engineered wood chips from local sources to make the playground safer. We replaced the backboards and rims. We moved a climber from our other park and are in the process of bringing over a slide and a 4-seat bouncer. We are rehabilitating the pieces now before we reinstall them. That will double the amount of equipment in the park.
We are also planning to add benches and tables and there is a movement to add a sand volleyball court. We are looking into the design and costs now. The only thing left that we really want to do is replace the jungle gym with a new small play structure.
We are still raising funds for our large park community build so it’s going have to wait for a while. But we are excited about breathing new life into this park and we again want to say thank you for your assistance.
We are proud to say it’s not the scariest park anymore."
Town of Fredonia
Thank you Fredonia for taking the initiative to fix up your playground! We hope the kids – and adults – enjoy it for years to come.
Over the past week, leading up to yesterday's 2000th build and 15th birthday celebration with First Lady Michelle Obama, we have been reminiscing about our 15 years of building playgrounds by posting photos from our archives to our Facebook page -- and asking YOU to caption them.
The one million volunteers who have pitched in their time and sweat to help us build 2,000 playgrounds know that it's a lot of work. Yet, as these photos demonstrate, we don't forget to leave some time for play!
Help us choose the winners of our Photo Caption Challenge by hitting the 'Like' button for up to three of your favorite captions per photo. You'll be sure to giggle!
Vote by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, June 19. Winners receive a KaBOOM! T-shirt or water bottle, and an everlasting sense of triumph.