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play / 2015

KIPP (Kids Indoor Play Park)

KIPP (Kids Indoor Play Park)

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

I would like to see indoor play parks at various parks throughout the City of LA. The play parks would be designed for children that are baby, infant, and toddler ages and would provide a safe, indoor environment as a relief from outdoor factors (weather, transients, etc). Portable play equipment and mats would provide appropriate levels of play for smaller children to express themselves and play physically while protecting them from their surroundings and allowing for easy clean-up.

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles
  • Poinsettia Recreation Center

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Offer free/low cost programming for young children where licensed child care and preschool programs were terminated.

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics?

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods
  • Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.

I would like to create KIPP, a Kids Indoor Play Park for all young children (baby, infant, toddler) to participate in and develop social and physical motor skills, both individually and with each other. Many outdoor playgrounds aren’t designed for the younger age groups, but KIPP’s will be created just for them, a place where parents and caretakers can feel secure in knowing their children are in a good environment. The equipment will be similar to an indoor children’s gym, with soft mats, tumbling shapes, and age-appropriate apparatuses that are both colorful and engaging. The equipment can be portable, allowing for easy set-up and clean-up at a multi-use facility so as not to interfere with current programming. KIPP’s will be offered at numerous City of LA parks inside the recreation facilities. Participation for the children will be either free or low cost so as to encourage and include as many children in the community as possible. This type of programming will offer networking and social interfacing among the children and between parents/caretakers. It will also create a connection between parents/caretakers and park staff, which may then lead to ongoing participation in other park programs in the future. By developing the relationship between the park and community, the City can learn about its residents and better serve the public.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

I will choose a pilot park, or parks, to survey to see which one(s) have a need for this type of programming. After selecting the parks and implementing the program I plan to conduct biweekly/monthly evaluations on the program with feedback from park staff, program participants, and non-participants who frequent the park. I’ll also observe the activity to review firsthand how the KIPP is utilized and received by both children and parents/caretakers. I’ll see what’s liked by the children and what other ideas they would like to see at the KIPP. I will make note of any safety hazards and make sure they are dealt with in a timely manner. I’ll also see how participation varies when the program is offered at no expense verses a nominal fee.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Education/training
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research