FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Play Days start this weekend!

KaBOOM! Play Days bring more than 1,000 communities together to celebrate play and get kids off the couch

WASHINGTON D.C. (September 15, 2009) — 

Kids in all 50 states, in 12 different countries and on every continent (including Antarctica) get out to play from September 19-27!

With children between the ages of eight and 18 spending on average 6.5 hours a day in front of the television or computer1, kids need a strong dose of good, old-fashioned, outdoor fun.  This September 19-27, more than 1,000 communities across the country and around the world will get playful by participating in KaBOOM! Play Days, free, fun-for-the-whole-family events that celebrate play, raise money and volunteers for park and playground improvement, and rally support for the cause of play.  KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, is presenting Play Days worldwide with help from long-time supporter KOOL-AID.  At each Play Day, communities will come together to host fun field-day style events for their kids and improve the parks where they play.

“It's no secret that play is key to healthy child development,” said Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!. “Research shows that active kids are healthier, perform better in school, and learn better social skills than children who are less inclined to play. By joining in a local Play Day, parents can demonstrate that they value play, healthy families and healthy communities.”

Why do kids need unstructured play? Current statistics are dismal when it comes to children and playtime:

  • A recent KaBOOM! study showed that 96 percent of parents agreed that playing outside was critical to their child’s health, but only 17 percent of these same parents thought their children played enough outdoors.
  • The CDC reports that for children aged 6 to 19 years, upwards of 17 percent are overweight.2

Since many child-advocacy and health organizations, including the American Heart Association, advocate that kids play for at least an hour every day, KaBOOM! and KOOL-AID will be asking parents who attend Play Days to sign a playful beach-ball petition supporting every child’s right for 60 minutes of time to play every day.  After getting their petitions signed, every community will play in their own special way:  

  • At a Virginia Beach U.S. Naval base, kids of those deployed overseas will get a day of care-free fun and games, courtesy of the base commander and a squad of volunteers.  
  • In Johannesburg, South Africa, they’re holding Olympic-style events with hurdles, high jump, sprints, shot put, javelin, sling throw, long jump, and long distance races.
  • In Evans, Colorado, they’ll attempt to break the world record for the most people participating in a human wheelbarrow race.
  • An Atlanta Play Day will feature a “Pros vs. Joes” flag football game, with local residents competing against retired Atlanta Falcons players.
  • In Riverside City California, they’re having a Mariachi festival and a donkey lassoing demonstration.
  • In the Kubwa Village of Nigeria, the Play Day organizer says that the 100,000 people who live there have nowhere to gather together to play.  He’s using his Play Day to raise money for a new community center.
  • With more than 1,000 Play Days planned across the country, parents can find a Play Day in their neighborhoods by visiting http://playday.kaboom.org/.For more information about KaBOOM!, visit www.kaboom.org.


1  Roberts, D. F., Foehr, U., & Rideout, V. Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005.
2 Centers for Disease Control, National Health Assessment Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/prevalence.html

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About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.