TGSG Note: Today’s guest post is from Matthew (MJ) Kurs-Lasky, from KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that that empowers communities to build playgrounds. MJ is working on the KaBOOM! Play Day initiative — a program to engage communities in a free, fun-for-the-whole-family outdoor event that celebrates and advocates for play. I recently started a contract with KaBOOM!, and a huge fan of their work and dedication to saving play. I would LOVE to see TGSG readers plan Play Days in communities across the country. Let’s take back play. See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru
I consider myself a very active person. Almost everyday of the week I head out to run, trying, as much as possible, to discover new places when I run. I’ve realized that many people don’t take enough time to explore the parks and playgrounds in their area.
Just the other day, I returned from a run and told my friend where I went; he had no clue that there was such a network of trails, no more than a mile away from our apartment. I’m not trying to say that you need to start running, but I think everyone should take time to be active and play. It’s important to make sure everyone realizes and utilizes the great playspaces that exist all over our communities.
I work at the perfect place to demonstrate to others all about play, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit bringing play back into the lives of children. At KaBOOM! we passionately believe that play has purpose, and that unstructured play, in particular, helps make children happier, fitter, smarter, more socially adept, and creative. One of my favorite initiatives is the KaBOOM! Play Day program.
A Play Day is a day to gather your community for a day of play in a park, a playground, or any other playful outdoor location. It doesn’t matter what the play entails, whether it’s building sand castles, planting flowers, or jumping rope—as long as you’re having fun and playing. During the week of September 19th – 27th, thousands of communities across the country will be hosting Play Days. It’s a great way to take a united stand for play with the other communities, as well as to celebrate play with the kids in your town and to show them what your favorite park has to offer.
There are great resources for you to start your own Play Day. The KaBOOM! Play Day Planner helps you organize and host your very own event. This tool walks project planners through the entire process from fundraising to picking children’s activities. And any host who initiates a Play Day that will take place between September 19th – 27th, will receive a free activation kit with games and gear, including a deck of activity cards full of great children’s games, activities, and spruce up projects.
I really enjoy the concept of a Play Day because it is a fun way to highlight and advocate for the cause of play. Throughout the rest of the summer, while my friends have little excuse for lack of time, I hope to convince them to go running with me and to see what the area has to offer in terms of playspaces. So, I ask you to take your friends outside, pick your favorite activity, and PLAY!
Host a Play Day in your neighborhood and make sure everyone has a day to experience the importance of play. For more information or to create your own event, visit KaBOOM! Play Day.
Guest Blogger Bio: MJ Kurs-Lasky is a senior at the University of Maryland, where he’s majoring in Marketing, with a minor in Sports Commerce and Culture. Blue Slide Park is his favorite playground of all time, located in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. When he’s not running, he likes to play racquetball, give tours of campus, and cheer on the Maryland Terrapins. You can read more from MJ on his blog and contact him via email at mkurs-lasky [at] kaboom [dot] org.