KaBOOM!

Turn spaces in your community in to PLAYces for all kids.

5 Step Guide to

KaBOOM!

Overview


KaBOOM! "Welcome To KaBOOM! We believe that every child should have access to a safe place to play and we've learned that local communities are often best placed to create those opportunities. Here you can find all the information and support you need to turn spaces into PLAYces in your local community." - Darrell Hammond, Founder of KaBOOM!

5 Steps

Who? Someone who...

Resource Checklist

Clock

Time

The time commitment will vary depending on the scope of your project and the team involved. Typically, teams complete within 3 months with 4 hours a week time commitment.


Get Started

Discover what's possible

In 2016, KaBOOM launched the Play Everywhere Challenge to source the best ideas from across the US for creating for playful cities and neighborhoods

They had over a thousand applications for community based projects that could inspire play for the kids that need it most.

Here are just some of the winners that might inspire you in generating ideas for what's possible in your community!

Laundromat Theatre

Sidewalk Playspaces

Playable Sidewalk

Board Play


Start with YOUR community

The best projects often come from within. So, talk to kids and families in your community. Find out how they play, as well as how they move through their daily lives. What do they find convenient, inviting, or inclusive? Understand their needs, habits, and challenges, and identify a problem you want to solve. At this point, engage in conversations with community groups, nonprofits, and local government, too. They may have a perspective on the issue and ideas for potential solutions.

Build on what already exists

When possible, don’t start from scratch. What does the community already have that can support your play idea? Is there an underused feature in the built environment? Or a community group with the time, resources, or connections to bring your idea to life? By keeping installations affordable and low‑maintenance, you’ll increase your odds of success—and enable replication by a range of communities, supporting our vision of inclusive play.

Co‑create

Involve your community partners throughout the creative process. Test your ideas with kids and families early and often, and adapt your approach based on their feedback. Consider building a prototype or pilot to see how people react. Getting the right people to design with you will lead to ideas that are truly inclusive and reflective of the community.


Find local champions

Who within the community can help build or sustain your project? Find people who have access to the permissions, materials, funding, or other support you’ll need, and get them on board early. A city government contact is often helpful; community organizations and businesses can also serve as your project’s hosts, funders, or stewards. When building these relationships, communicate your project vision and focus on finding shared priorities.

Your local page on ChangeX will help you to build your team, recruit volunteers and spread the word about what you're planning to do!

Once you're ready you can register to get your page here


Put your plan into action

This is the fun bit!! Getting to action!

Before you get started, the team at KaBOOM! will host a 30 minute webinar with you to help talk through your plan, to help you figure out if it's realistic and what the best way of achieving your goals are

Embrace change and flexibility

What you end up building may not look like the idea you had on day one. That’s normal—and often good! Plans will evolve based on feedback you get from the community. You may also need to change your approach when faced with barriers—perhaps to clear a liability concern, or to convince a new partner. Focus on what is essential to the impact you are trying to create for kids, families, and your community, and be flexible on the rest. Plus, there’s always room for bigger and better next time.

Think long‑term

Anticipate issues you’ll face down the line and factor them into your initial planning. Who will handle maintenance and how much will it cost? Will you want to replicate this installation someday? By confronting these questions early on, you’ll start devising creative solutions that can strengthen the long‑term viability of your project.

Find owners

Encourage members of the community to take ownership of the installation. Try to secure this commitment prior to your build. Identifying a “host” who is responsible for maintenance can help ensure the space you’ve created remains as inviting and enlivening as you intended. Informal, collective efforts—such as a neighborhood watch or community policing—can also make a difference.


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