Why it Matters
Play Everywhere uniquely addresses a wide range of community issues, from health and wellness concerns like child development and obesity, to economic development and competitiveness, to social equity across neighborhoods. Cities and towns, along with leaders from every sector working together, have the power to turn playspaces, and all spaces, into transformative theaters of activity, inspiration, and discovery—and in the process, to change minds and habits. These changes also enable cities to attract and retain talent, and to create vibrant, thriving neighborhoods where people can live, work and play together.
KaBOOM! was founded by Darrell Hammond 20 years ago, in 1996, after he read a heartbreaking story of two kids who died while playing in a car on a hot summer day in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC. It was in that moment that he resolved to provide safe play spaces for all kids in America, ensuring that no kid would need to resort to a car as a play space. Since then, KaBOOM! has grown into a national non-profit that has built thousands of playgrounds across the U.S. The unique, successful community-engagement model that KaBOOM! utilizes ensures that communities are invested in the play spaces as well. In the past few years, KaBOOM! has moved into providing even more than playgrounds: play everywhere. Through the Play Everywhere Challenge, KaBOOM! is working to provide play throughout cities, integrated into the urban fabric. Whether at a bus stop, grocery store, or on a sidewalk, kids, especially the 16 million living in poverty, need access to play on a daily basis. These play everywhere installations are being implemented in cities all across the country.