Data-Informed and Impact-Driven Approach

KABOOM! leverages data as the driver behind any decision-making about where and how we work to ensure we are addressing playspace inequity. We strive for each playground to tangibly lead to better futures for kids, and we measure our impact to ensure our work is supporting measurable progress toward community-defined outcomes.

Please view our published reports and other data that highlight the impact of our work for kids and communities.

The State of Playspace Equity in Three Colorado Communities

Does your neighborhood have a quality playground within reach? The answer might depend on your socio-economic status, race, and ethnicity. In this report details the results of a recent playspace mapping project that identified inequities in access and quality across three communities in Colorado. The findings include recommendations and a new index developed by KABOOM! that estimates playspace inequity using nationally available data across 21 population, inequity, and environmental indicators. This project and the interactive report were completed by KABOOM!, North Carolina State University, and College of Charleston with the generous support of The Colorado Health Foundation.

View the interactive report

Review of Studies and Data on Playspace Equity for Children What the data says about playspace inequity in Colorado and nationwide

A team of experts from NC State University and College of Charleston due to the generous support of The Colorado Health Foundation partnered with KABOOM! to provide a community-informed research effort to map playpace inequity in three Colorado communities and summarize what the research says about equitable access to quality playspaces in Colorado and nationwide.

Review of Studies and Data on Playspace Equity for Children

Ending Playspace Inequities for Baltimore's KidsFindings from a Playspace Infrastructure Assessment

Together with a community of families, educators, and administrators, KABOOM! and Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) developed a common understanding of where playspace inequity exists and co-created a plan of action for addressing it system-wide within a reasonable and ambitious timeline.

This report highlights the impact the history of systemic racism within Baltimore has had on the City Schools system, and outlines our data, methodology, and an assessment of BCPSS playspaces.

Ending Playspace Inequities for Baltimore's Kids

A Race Equity Journey The Path to our Playspace Equity Commitment

This paper details the past, ongoing, and planned efforts of KABOOM! to advance a vision called playspace equity. We view the path toward playspace equity as a racial equity issue. Within the paper, we reflect on our journey in a respectful, factual and vulnerable way. We do not purport to have all the answers, and are learning and growing together along the way.

A Race Equity Journey: The Path to our Playspace Equity Commitment

Playground Reopening Guidance

To ensure that all kids — regardless of race, ethnicity, income and zip code — can return to the playground safely, playground reopening strategies must address inequities that exist by prioritizing financial and staff support resources. For playground owner/operators, we outline the following suggested guidelines with supporting resources to help prepare their spaces for kids and adults to play safely.

Playground Reopening Guidance ( View as webpage)

Play Everywhere Playbook

Leveraging our own play infrastructure expertise and collaborations with cities and partners, we've developed a number of successful approaches to creating kid-friendly, playful cities. With input and insight from city and community leaders, health experts, urban planners and affected families, we've created this toolkit – the Play Everywhere Playbook.

Play Everywhere Playbook

Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities

New research from KABOOM! and behavioral economics research firm ideas42 shows that cities must become more playable to ensure that all kids across every socio-economic background are getting the balanced and active play they need to thrive. The resulting white paper, Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities, identifies the behavioral bottlenecks that prevent kids from getting balanced and active play and three solutions cities can take to holistically address them.

Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities - Executive Summary (approx. 1 Mb)
Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities - Full (approx. 1 Mb)

Play Matters: Giving Kids the Childhood They Deserve

Whether building the skills children need to succeed in the 21st century or simply giving children joy, play is an essential part of childhood. But in recent decades, play as we know it has been slowly disappearing.

Play Matters: Giving Kids the Childhood They Deserve (approx. 3.4 Mb)

Play Everywhere

Mattel, Mattel Children's Foundation and KABOOM!, joined forces to make the case that play matters, producing a major study with children about how to get kids playing more, a compelling summary of existing research about play's benefits, and accompanying videos that we hope will inspire others to act. The Play Everywhere video and accompanying Play Everywhere publication are an initial look at what we heard directly from kids. Most importantly, kids want to be challenged, to use their imaginations, and have the opportunity to bond with their friends.

 Play Everywhere (approx. 2.2 Mb)

Playgrounds that Build Communities

While KABOOM! helps communities build playgrounds in a matter of weeks, the impact goes above and beyond a healthy play space for kids. A new Knight Foundation report finds that the projects help volunteers and local organizations cultivate the skills, confidence and inspiration to get more involved in their communities. KABOOM!: Playgrounds that Build Communities, the first in-depth evaluation on the organization, provides lessons for groups seeking to engage volunteers in community change efforts.

 Playgrounds That Build Communities (approx. 1.5 Mb)

Playing Smart: Maximizing the Potential of School and Community Property through Joint Use Agreements

Many communities lack safe, adequate places for kids to play. Although they have a variety of recreational facilities, many school districts close their property to the public after hours because of concerns about vandalism, maintenance, and liability. Through a joint use agreement, your city or county can partner with the school district to address these concerns and open these playgrounds. This toolkit shares what we have learned from successful agreements, offering guidelines and templates for other communities looking to expand their access to school recreational facilities.

 Download Playing Smart (approx. 9.2 Mb)

ABCD Impact Study

KABOOM! engaged the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) of Northwestern University to conduct an evaluation of its Community Build process and the impact the projects are having on local neighborhoods.
 Download the executive summary - (approx. 32Kb)
 Download the presentation - (approx. 700Kb)