Planet Play incorporated as a nonprofit in Kansas in late 2012, did our feasibility and business planning in 2013, and received our 501(c)(3) in spring of 2014. In August 2014, we were awarded an Imagination Playground and Play Associate Training in a nationwide contest. In January 2015, a crowdfunding campaign raised over $11,000 to support development of our Pop-Up Play Lab.
Planet Play launched our programming with Year of Play 2015 to bring monthly “pop-up play” events to many young children and their families across Greater Kansas City. Check out our video and our photo gallery to see what Year of Play was all about! Our focus for Year of Play was reaching communities with economic need and little previous access to safe, accessible, creative play experiences for families. We reached our goal for Year of Play by offering our pop-up events in 12 diverse KC communities in 2015, nine of which were communities of economic need. Half of our Year of Play 2015 events were in Missouri, and the other half in Kansas. We reached over 1,100 children and adults in Year of Play 2015.
In 2016, we launched play everywhere, for everyone and joined our partners in the Early Learning Hub. In 2017, we reached over 1,000 young children and adults with our mobile play experiences at multiple events across Greater Kansas City, on both sides of the state line. Over 950 of those children and adults were from communities of economic need with little previous access to creative play and learning experiences. We expanded our mobile play materials to offer a deeper experience, thanks to generous support from KC CAN! We increased our capacity for reaching communities throughout the Kansas City metro area with the purchase of our cargo van, the PlayMobile. We launched Partners in Play, a new program that brings our play and learning experiences to parent-child playgroups of our partners Start at Zero and Family Conservancy.
We continue to expand our reach in impact with our PlayMobile and our Partners in Play programs in 2018. We remain committed to bringing play everywhere, for everyone, especially children and families with the fewest opportunities and the greatest needs.
Let’s play, KC!