It's officially the middle of summer and before the long, warm days disappear, we're getting outside to play and so should you! It's not only good for your body and brain, it's good for your community.
When we launched Altruette, one of the first causes we reached out to with an offer to make a charm was KaBOOM!. We loved their mission (to bring play to everyone, especially those living in poverty), we loved their founder and his team, and we loved the idea that play could be a major game changer for kids from all backgrounds.
While the KaBOOM! team is busy building playgrounds with communities across the country--they've built over 150 this year and 2,795 since they launched--their mission goes way beyond constructing cool parks. Their goal is to ensure kids have access to play everywhere...every day. So we connected with their team this week to learn a few ways we all can improve play in our neighborhoods. Here are a few fun ideas to get you started:
1. Snap a photo! Grab your phone and snap a few pictures of a playground near you. Then upload those pictures to the KaBOOM! "Map of Play". The map helps people find play spaces in their area and helps KaBOOM! see where there's a need for more play.
2. Sit on a Bench. If you live somewhere hot and humid and the idea of playing outside sounds exhausting, you can help your community just by relaxing on a bench at your local park. People will start to see the park as a safe place to bring kids. You might also notice something at the park that needs fixing. Send an email to your local recreation department or the school that oversees the park.
3. Create a Play Group. If you are motivated to make your neighborhood or your region stronger, consider creating a "Play Club". Invite a few friends and find a place in your area that needs a park. (When picking a location, remember that low-income children face many obstacles to play and could benefit most from more access to play since it's a proven way to relieve toxic stress.) Contact KaBOOM! or your local community leaders to help you put your plan into action.
We're off to the park. Hope you are too!
Julie & Lee