This is a sponsored post on behalf of Let’s Play, but all opinions are my own.
Have you ever gone to a park and just marveled at how fun and cool it was for the kids? The climbing structures, the different slides, the sliding thingy everyone fights over, maybe even the bridges? I love parks. I love how the entire structure can become a magic castle, or a deserted island, or a house just because you have an imagination and believe it can happen. I love that a park can be both chaotic with the laughter and screams of children playing but also a peaceful and relaxed place to enjoy lunch.
Something I never really considered was just HOW our beloved parks come to be. They don’t grow from magic beans, they don’t just appear out of thin air. They are planned, they are designed, they are developed from creative and logistically-solid minds. The people behind the planning and construction of a new playground are a force!
As you know, I’m an ambassador for Let’s Play for this year. Together with KaBOOM! and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, a brand new playground will be designed and built in Cincinnati, Ohio in an area that desperately needs a play space! No magic beans or anything but real blood, sweat, and tears will go into this. I’ve seen the planning documents, and while I can’t show you, I can tell you, it’s massive. I’ll give you some hints as to what it takes to build a new playground in the community.
Volunteers. Hundreds of them, ready to work hard and get things done.
Tools. WOW, the number of tools (hammers, drills, rakes, shovels, among others)
Restrooms, water access, electricity access.
Permits from the city, engineers to make sure things are safe and built correctly.
Fundraising. Someone has to pay for everything, and what isn’t provided via grants needs to be raised in some manner.
It also takes a great design. What elements will go into the new playground? What does the community – especially the youth – want to see? The Design Day session involved children from the community getting creative and coming up with their dream playgrounds. Some of the features they dream of just might become reality!
“The kids continually expressed their excitement for the new playground. The kids drew many of their different ideas, with the idea of creating a playground that abstracts a treehouse coming out as the winning idea. Indeed, if you look at the final design you can begin to see the ideas of climbing and social play that happens in treehouses represented!” – Jacob Stachler, Project Manager, KaBOOM!
Getting the kids to dream up their very own playgrounds was something I, unfortunately, had to miss out on thanks to a random stomach bug. I was definitely bummed to miss out and to miss seeing the magic in their eyes as they got creative and had fun.
“This playground has been part of an important place in our neighborhood for decades. The KaBOOM! project will help it continue to serve the children of Northside. The kids were all excited from the stretches and exercise beginning all the way to the group photo with all of their designs. The Northside community is looking forward to finalizing the design process and planning the build day through our planning committee.” – George Murray, Membership Secretary, Northside Community Council
I just love this dream playground design from the day:
It’s a beautiful thing to see all of these elements come together and I’m so excited that in September, I’ll be on the new playground site bringing you LIVE coverage! You will absolutely want to stay tuned to my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds as I will be sharing all sorts of photos and videos!
“This playground will give the kids of Cincinnati that access to balanced and active play that they need to thrive. The playground that will be built on September 9th will be more than a playground; it will be a friend-maker, a muscle-builder, and a brain-expander!” – Jacob Stachler, Project Manager, KaBOOM!
Check out Let’s Play to read about other Design Days and playground builds happening around the U.S!