KABOOM! Get Out and Play

Darrell Hammond, founder of KABOOM!, encourages dads to go outside and play with their kids on Father’s Day.

“If you don’t have playful adults, you won’t have playful kids,” he says.

Hammond raised over $200 million, rallied one million volunteers and led the hands-on construction of 2,000 playgrounds across the United States. Growing up in a group home near Chicago, Hammond was fortunate to meet adults who helped break the cycle of dysfunction.

Hammond views playgrounds as essential tools to build the social fabric of a community and to instill creativity within children.  After Hurricane Katrina, he helped build or rebuild 150 parks in the Gulf Coast and witnessed the resiliency of kids.

“The simple ignition of playgrounds,” Hammond says, “has been fundamental to a community’s survival.”

Frustrated that 52% of school districts in the United States have eliminated recess, Hammond is on a mission to encourage parents to get recess reinstated. He believes that unstructured play helps young people develop problem-solving skills.

How can you help? Parents and grads can offer to volunteer during recess. They can also sign up to help build a playground in the area or start their own project.  Click here to see the playgrounds that are being built or planned in the area.  “Teachers Saving Playtime” are putting together a playground project for residents who live in Glenview’s Michael Todd Terrace.

Hammond has a great new book “KABOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play.”