September 16, 2010

Service + play = A day of community fun

Starting this Saturday, thousands of playing children will descend on parks and playgrounds across the country for our national celebration of play. Nearly 1500 communities have rallied to show their commitment to the cause by hosting a Play Day—a day of games and playful activities, as well as an opportunity to improve local playspaces.

We’re excited to partner with The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which is also mobilizing people to improve outdoor spaces on Sept. 25, its National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Hundreds of NEEF groups are joining forces with KaBOOM! to combine service and play for a day of family fun.

Here are some of our favorite NPLD Play Days:

First Bloom Fall Clean-upFirst Bloom Fall Clean-Up! (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Organizer Johnson1 says, “First Bloom is a native garden that attracts birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. I work with the Girl Scouts to promote and maintain the garden against a very urban, but historical landscape in downtown Philadelphia. The projects promotes stewardship, conservation, native plants and, of course, national parks! Fall is a time to collect seeds, mulch, pull weeds, compost, and test soil pH levels.”

Old Mulkey's Let's Paint the Park! (Tompkinsville, Ky.)
Organizer Rush says, “Old Mulkey is excited to host ‘Let's Paint the Park’ in cooperation with our observance of National Public Lands Day. After spending a little time sprucing up the park, everyone will be given the opportunity to complete our new quest, The View from the Pulpit. Questing is a great way to involve your family in outdoors fun! A great combination of a walk in the park and critical thinking, our quest will take you to areas of the park you might not normally visit!”

Beach Cleanup Beach Cleanup (Seal Beach, Calif.)
Hosted by Save Our Beach, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the water quality along the Southern California Coastline, this Play Day will include a “FREE Kids FUN Zone bounce house, temporary tattoos, face painting, buried treasures game, coloring contest, and a beach cleanup.”

Quad Cities Family Fun & Kite Festival (Davenport, Iowa)
If you’ve never seen a dancing kite, here’s your chance. Hosted by Quad Cities Kite Club, this Play Day will feature “giant 100-foot show kites, stunt kites dancing to music, and single line kites,” not to mention Rokkaku kite battles and kite building workshops. 

To join any of these Play Days, or to find a Play Day near you, visit

The KaBOOM! Play Day program is presented by Mott’s and made possible by the ongoing philanthropic support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as NFL PLAY 60. Operational support for the KaBOOM! Play Day program provided by National Environmental Education Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Marine Corps Community Services. Together with KaBOOM!, these organizations are working together to sign up thousands of communities to host events that support the importance of play in children’s lives.

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