Today, while more American youth seem to be captivated by the latest technological advancement than the neighborhood playground, one company is working to change that
perception. National non-profit company, KaBOOM!, focuses on providing youth a balanced and active childhood. The FireLodge Tribal Youth program received one of KaBOOM!’s Imagination Playgrounds through a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and KaBOOM!
According to the company’s website, Imagination Playground provides an innovative play opportunity that can be instantly activated through an unique design in play equipment
that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration. It’s custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts provide a changing array of elements that allow youth to turn their playground into a space to be built according to what they imagine.
“The kids have really embraced using the Imagination Playground,” said Darin Greene Coordinator for FireLodge Tribal Youth. “We have 12 to18 year olds here and we weren’t sure how much it was going to be used. I’m just really thankful we got it because it has really been a great thing for the kids here.”
Academic Support Specialist for the P.L.A.C.E., Ben McAlister, has found different uses for the Tribal youth to use the Imagination Playground in their weekly activities.
“We use the Imagination Playground for an assortment of team building exercises,” said McAlister. “We like to see who can build the most elaborate car, staircase, really anything they come up with we try and all make it together. We assumed that it was only going to be used by the youth but the high school kids have really found ways to use it as well.”
Vice-President for the FireLodge Youth Council, Duncan Hoffman, immediately saw it as a great and exciting experience to do something new with his friends.
“Today we created an obstacle course and we put blindfolds on one person and their partner helped guide them through the course by telling them where to step,” said Hoffman. “We use the Imagination Playground for team building exercises, friendly competitions and of course fun.”
For more information on the KaBOOM! Imagination Playground please visit their webpage at www.kaboom.org.