Playful City USA

The Town of Gypsum had been a designated Playful City USA since 2012. 

About Playful City USA

 Playful City USA is a national recognition program sponsored by Humana Foundation in partnership with KaBOOM! that honors cities, towns and communities across America that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children, especially the 16 million  American kids living in poverty, have easy access to balanced and active  play in their communities.

 Through this program, Playful City USA honorees are recognized for making a commitment to transform their communities to become more playable by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community.

 Key Messaging on Play

 For cities to be economically competitive, they need to not only attract, but also retain families. Now, more than ever before, families want homes in close proximity to safe streets to walk, trails to ride and places to play. There is growing momentum to increase walkability and bikeability in cities across the country, as more people seek active and environmentally-friendly lifestyles. Now is the time to accelerate playability– with the announcement of the 2014 Playful City USA honorees and the Play Summit in October in Chicago as catalysts to spark a national conversation and drive the playability movement.

 Here are key messaging about various perspectives on play that help support a thriving environment for kids, families and communities:


  • Cities need to be designed  to make play the easy, affordable and accessible option for kids and families.
  • Cities need to be family-friendly and kid-friendly with opportunities to play everywhere family and kids already go.

 Play As a Competitive Advantage

  • The ability of cities to thrive is dependent on attracting and retaining families.
  • Play can help cities compete successfully for families, distinguishing them from similar cities.

 Emphasis on a Balance of Play

  • The best type of play for kids is all types of play.
  • Kids need a balance of play every day – active bodies, active minds and active together – to thrive.

 Caring Adults

  • Kids need caring and engaged adults to help them develop and grow.
  • Play is a great way to make kids feel safe, stable and loved.

 Play Can Help Address Toxic Stress

  • Kids who grow up in environments where they are exposed to neglect, violence and extreme adversity are at risk of experiencing toxic stress, which hinders their ability to develop and grow.
  • A community environment where kids feel safe, stable and loved can reduce their stress levels – one way is through safe access to play.

 Play Enriches Learning

  • Kids need to learn how to read, write and do math, as well as build skills in problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.
  • Play can engage and enrich all aspects of learning, especially when it comes to problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.