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Sep-13-2010 20:51printcomments

KaBOOM! Play Days

child playing

(SALEM, Ore.) - With children between the ages of eight and 18 spending on average 7.5 hours a day in front of the television or computer, kids need a strong dose of good, old-fashioned, outdoor fun. To ensure that kids across the country get active and playful, national non-profit KaBOOM! is gearing up for the second annual KaBOOM! Play Days presented by Mott`s.

KaBOOM! Play Days encourage communities to come together for fun activities and to improve their local parks and playgrounds. KaBOOM! Play Days run from September 18 – September 26, and families can check out the Play Days website to find events near them, or start their own. The website gives communities everything they need to host a great Play Day, and is full of classic games and simple improvement projects. The site also provides users with tools to help self-organize, recruit volunteers, invite attendees and receive event planning help.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play, and last year, 1,254 communities hosted a KaBOOM! Play Day. More than 316,000 people participated in events, and afterward, participants shared event photos and stories

This year, even more communities are getting in on the fun, with almost 1,500 events registered. Kids across the country will be playing classic games such as Kick the Can, Red Rover, Red Light-Green Light, and Four Square, many of which are disappearing from children’s lives. Then, once the events are over, deserving Play Day communities with the best improvement projects will be eligible to win one of several grants up to $10,000 to help them further improve their local park or playground.

Fun Play Day events include:
Noche de Divercion (Dallas, Texas) -- This community health center is organizing their second Play Day and will include a Health Fair component, because 85% of their patients have diabetes and 50% of their patients’ children are overweight or obese. They’ve dreamed up a number of the original games that they’ll play at their Play Day, including a giant game of dominoes.

Come Play the Horses Way! (Castalia, NC) -- This Play Day will be horses-themed. Every game will have a horse twist on it: relay races with stick horses, horseshoe toss, Horsey Simon Says, and a hay bale maze. Ribbons will be awarded for 2nd to 6th place and winner gets a small trophy...just like a real horse show.

Yachats Community Play Day (Yachats, OR) -- In addition to fun games this community will start construction on a tree house for the kids. The treehouse was designed by a group of local youth five years ago, but because of engineering, permitting, and fundraising challenges, it is only now that they are able to begin construction.

Pick a Day, Come and Play (Whitewater, WI) -- Parents and community members are invited to join in the school’s recess every day for the whole week. The attendees are also asked to bring extra play equipment to donate to the school to create a "recess box" to be used to make recess more fun and playful for everyone.

And more! Anyone can look up a PlayDay near them.

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.

Why are Play Days important?

  • Almost 60% of all kids don’t have a playground within walking distance of their home. And that number goes up to almost 70% in low-income areas.
  • Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation.
  • Lack of play is directly linked to increased childhood obesity -- one of the main issues facing children today.
  • Play enhances children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem- solving skills. They’re also happier and better able to get along with others.

By hosting a KaBOOM! Play Day, communities will not only ensure that their children get out and play for an afternoon, but they will help make their local park or playground an inviting place, where families can spend time together for years to come.




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gp September 14, 2010 12:15 am (Pacific time)

this is the type of community based news articles that I like to see.

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