For children in low-income urban neighborhoods in California, there's often no safe place to play.
Building playgrounds is a start, but a pilot program in Los Angeles wants to take a different approach: putting play where you wouldn't expect it, and where kids can use it.
"Let's Play Everywhere Los Angeles" is launching this summer in L.A., aiming to convert some of the urban spaces that children visit every day -- like vacant lots, bus stops or laundromats -- into places where they can play. It's the brainchild of KaBOOM, a nonprofit that will build 10 such projects in the city.
"Sometimes single-parent families don’t have that luxury to drop off their kids at the park," said L.A. Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero, who is tasked with expanding parks and play opportunities in the city's underserved neighborhoods. "So how do we build interim play areas for kids who can't get to a park?"
In other cities and states where KaBOOM has rolled out projects, people have come up with a variety of answers: A laundromat in Vermont became a puppet theater for kids; a bus stop shelter in the Central Valley was transformed into an interactive game station.