Innovation That Matters

Directory brings transparency to playgrounds

Work & Lifestyle

Sites that feature user reviews, photos and descriptions have already brought transparency to hotel rooms and airplane seats, to name just two of our favourite examples. Now the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder is bringing a similar type of openness to the world of playgrounds. The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, currently in beta, is a user-generated online directory from playground-focused nonprofit KaBOOM! that lets anyone enter, search for and rate play spaces in their community. Using the free site, parents, kids and community members in general can locate playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and even ice rinks across North America. Some 11,800 play areas are listed on the Google Maps-based site, which can be searched by region or name; a search filter lets users focus in on specific types of parks. Users can also add photos and comments for each play space, as well as detailed descriptions including the playground equipment or amenities that are available there and an overall estimation of the spot’s “play value.” Community service credit and Girl Scout patches are even available for contributing to the Playspace Finder, KaBOOM! says. Ultimately, the Washington, D.C.-based group hopes the site will help alert local communities to recreational areas that need some help. Darell Hammond, KaBOOM!’s cofounder and CEO, explains: “Play is a vital component of a child’s life, contributing to their physical, emotional, mental and social development. In light of our work and our vision, we felt it was our duty to provide a resource for locating great places to play. However, the success of this project relies upon people across the country providing data and reviews about their parks. So, get out to a park and play, but then come back and tell everyone about your experience—good or bad.” Supported through a sponsorship by Kool-Aid, KaBOOM!’s Playspace Finder is yet another testament to the power of transparency to make things better. One to emulate in other parts of the world? (Related: Local tips for parents.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



Download PDF