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Posted in Your Community | August 2014

Play your way to a better neighborhood

Become a Playfinder
Play matters for all kids. It is a quintessential part of childhood, and it unleashes possibilities. Play can transform children – from sedentary to physically active, from bored to mentally active, and from solitary to socially active. Play matters…a lot!

KaBOOM! , one of Foresters partners, is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

We are excited to introduce you to a brand new program we have developed with KaBOOM! called Playfinders. The program provides the resources for you, your family and the Foresters community to explore the playspaces in your area, tidy them and ensure they’re mapped on the KaBOOM! Map of Play .  This family volunteer opportunity also helps kids learn valuable lessons about keeping playgrounds and parks clean. Best of all, the Playfinders program is easy, low-commitment and supported through community grants funding from Foresters.

Here’s how it works: members gather at a central playground to enjoy a light snack while the member organizer explains how the program works. During this time the organizer will hand out materials and supplies, then split volunteers into two groups. One group will test and the other will tidy.

Once the playspace has been tested for fun by the first group and tidied by the second, the whole group travels to a second playground to repeat the process. This time the groups switch tasks: the testers become the tidiers and the tidiers become the testers.

Naturally kids make great Playfinders, so make sure to get them involved. Ask them to try out each piece of equipment, if age-appropriate, and tell you how much they enjoyed playing on it and how it compares to other playgrounds you’ve visited. They might want to think about how fast the slides are, or how high the swings go, or how easy it is to turn the climbing structures into imaginary forts or castles!

By the end of the day, you and your team of Playfinders will have made your neighborhood playspaces nicer for everyone in your community—and you’ll have had a great day doing it! When you return home, your last task is to visit KaBOOM!’s online playspace database, the Map of Play , to input your ratings for each playground you visited. It’s easy and only takes about 5 minutes to complete.

The goal of this final step is to support KaBOOM!’s Map of Play initiative, which endeavors to help families discover all the best places to play within walking distance of their homes.

If you need more information on organizing a Playfinders activity, visit the granting pages or the KaBOOM! page on MyForesters.com.  To find out if there are any Playfinders activities planned in your community, visit the Events page .

411390H CAN/US (04/15)

 

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