Write a Proclamation About Play

Proclaiming and celebrating a KaBOOM! Play Day is one of the commitments to meet to get your city named a Playful City USA. Learn more.

Play Day planning resources

Sample Letter to the Mayor

Dear NAME OF MAYOR:

We, the concerned citizens, community members, parents, neighbors, friends, and children of CITY/TOWN believe that play is a crucial factor in the overall well-being of children, and playspaces and playgrounds within walking distance of children’s homes are missing from many communities and neighborhoods. We recognize that unstructured, unplanned, spontaneous, and self-motivated play is on the decline and that fewer children spend time outside at parks and playgrounds.

We also see that recess is being shortened or removed from school curriculums, and we know that children who play are healthier and suffer less obesity and obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. We also value the fact that children who play do better in school and develop cognitive skills that are linked to learning and academic performance, and children who play learn the social skills that help them become happy and well-adjusted adults.

Lastly, we, as representatives of parents, schools, child care centers, nonprofit organizations, businesses, churches, synagogues, mosques, and all interested parties, wish to raise this community’s children to become healthy, happy, and successful adults.

We ask that you proclaim DAY AND DATE as a “Play Day” for CITY/TOWN and that you urge all citizens to celebrate Play Day and support efforts to build and maintain playspaces and playgrounds not only in their communities and neighborhoods but for this and future generations.

Playfully Yours,
The Committee on Play
Smithville, USA

Sample Play Day Proclamation

An Order to Proclaim MONTH DAY, YEAR “Play Day” in the City/Town of CITY, STATE.

Whereas, play is a crucial factor in the overall well-being of children, and

Whereas, playspaces and playgrounds within walking distance of children’s homes are missing from many communities and neighborhoods, and

Whereas, unstructured, unplanned, spontaneous, and self-motivated play is on the decline, and

Whereas, fewer children spend time outside at parks and playgrounds, and

Whereas, recess is being shortened or removed from school curriculums, and

Whereas, children who play are healthier and suffer less obesity and obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, and

Whereas, children who play do better in school and develop cognitive skills that are linked to learning and academic performance, and

Whereas, children who play learn the social skills that help them become happy and well-adjusted adults, and

Whereas, parents, schools, child care centers, nonprofit organizations, businesses, churches, synagogues, mosques, and all interested parties wish to raise this community’s children to become healthy, happy, and successful adults,

Now, Therefore, I, NAME OF MAYOR, Mayor of the City/Town of CITY, STATE, do hereby proclaim MONTH DAY, YEAR as:

“Play Day”

in the CITY/TOWN of CITY, STATE, and I urge all citizens to celebrate Play Day and support efforts to build and maintain playspaces and playgrounds in their communities and neighborhoods.

Further, I urge all citizens to continue to support and maintain playspaces and playgrounds for the well-being of this and future generations.

Dated this _________ day of ________________________________________________
Mayor _________________________________________________________________

A proclamation — a simple public address, in essence—does not require a vote and is signed by only one person, usually the mayor. The process to approve a proclamation is easier than you might think and an excellent tool to take your advocacy campaign to the next level! Here’s how you go about creating and securing a proclamation about play.

Send a formal letter to the mayor’s office asking if he or she would be interested in signing a proclamation for an Official KaBOOM! Play Day, thus demonstrating the commitment and support that city officials have in ensuring the healthy development of all children. If you are finding roadblocks in the mayor’s office, building a relationship with the chief of staff or director of Parks and Recreation could help you have an ally within the government who can advocate on your behalf. And if all else fails, make getting the proclamation declared a classroom trip!

Have a grade school class head to city hall — obviously supervised by caring adults within your committee — and ask for the proclamation! This is a great way to expose children to government processes as well.

The letter you send must contain the following:

  1. Your formal request for consideration of DAY and DATE as a KaBOOM! Play Day.

  2. The date you need the request for the proclamation approved. Make sure you give a lead time of at least eight weeks and then follow up at least weekly.

  3. Daytime contact information—name and phone number—for the point person within your play committee who is responsible for the proclamation.

  4. Provide information about what your play committee has achieved thus far — events, growth, media attention, etc.—and how you see your group growing as the town/city has its awareness raised about play. Note: This should be NO MORE than one to two sentences about the activities you have accomplished so far, giving reason(s) why the mayor should support your request.

  5. The draft of the proclamation you are proposing that is NO MORE than four paragraphs long with each paragraph composed of NO MORE than four typed lines.

  6. Indicate whether the proclamation, once reviewed, will be picked up or mailed. If the proclamation is to be mailed, indicate the name and address to whom it should be mailed.

Follow up with the mayor’s office after you have submitted the above items.

If your proclamation is approved, you will receive written or phone notification from the mayor’s office. Note: If you want to receive this information by mail, ensure you indicate that and include your mailing address.

If you would like the mayor to participate in a post-proclamation approval ceremony or event, send a formal invitation with all of your event details. If the mayor agrees to participate, be sure to alert the media and invite partners and community leaders to the signing.

"A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child in him."
– Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, 1904–1973