January 07, 2011

From a mission to a movement

At KaBOOM!, we're on a mission to save play for America's children. We're proud that we have built nearly 2,000 playgrounds over the last 15 years, and facilitated the construction of thousands more through our online tools and resources, but our efforts are not enough to fill our country's growing play deficit.

Luckily, we know we're not alone. Our mission is turning into a movement. If you don't believe us, just take a look at the #1 "Most Emailed" article in yesterday's New York Times, "Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum." In discussing the "sometimes-untidy" nature of play, the article references our friend Megan Rosker, whom we have previously featured for her tireless efforts to establish a recess period at her child's school:

Megan Rosker, a mother of three (ages 6, 3 and 2) in Redington Shores, Fla., has learned to embrace the disorder. She set aside the large sunroom in her home for the children and filled it with blocks, games, crayons, magazines to cut up and draw in, as well as toys and dress-up clothes. “I think a big part of free play is having space to do it in, a space that isn’t ruled over by adults,” she said.

Our own Jim Hunn is also quoted:

“When I was growing up, there was a culture of childhood that children maintained,” said Jim Hunn, vice president for mass action at KaBOOM, a nonprofit group that is a leading voice in reducing what it terms the “play deficit.” He noted that he learned games like Capture the Flag from other children. To revive that culture, he said: “Parents have to reassert themselves in this process and teach them how to play. It’s critical that parents take some ownership and get out and play with their children.”

Clearly, we are not the only ones concerned about this play deficit. Read and share the full article here.