KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization bringing play to children who need it most, and Mattel (Nasdaq: MAT), the world’s largest toy company, announced a new partnership last week to build the understanding of the critical need for active play in the lives of all children. To launch the partnership, Mattel and the Mattel Children’s Foundation provided $500,000 in financial support for the creation and promotion of a major study with kids about how they engage in play, a compelling summary of existing research about play’s benefits, and accompanying digital content. Whether building the skills children need to succeed in the 21st century or simply giving children joy, play is an essential part of childhood. But in recent decades, play as we know it has been slowly disappearing. The overall goal of the partnership is to foster a groundswell of support around the cause of play, and ultimately, a world where all children have the time and engaging opportunities to play actively, every day. “We know that play can transform children – from sedentary to physically active, bored to mentally active, and solitary to socially active. But play is increasingly becoming a thing of the past,” says Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “A balance of active play that strengthens bodies, stimulates minds and fosters friendships, is critical for the future of our children and society as a whole.” “Mattel believes play is fundamental to learning and development at all ages. We believe all children have a right to the time, place, tools and an advocate for play in their lives,” says Deidre Lind, Executive Director, Mattel Children's Foundation and Philanthropy Programs for Mattel, Inc. “We are thrilled to collaborate with KaBOOM! to better understand play behavior and spread the word about the power of play.” The first two pieces produced from the partnership include a two-minute video titled, “I Believe in Play” and a synthesis of play-related research titled, “Play Matters: Giving Kids the Childhood They Deserve,” both available at kaboom.org/act. They were unveiled at the 2013 Playful City USA Leaders’ Summit, held September 23-24 in Baltimore, Md. Over the next weeks and months, these products and those still to be produced, will be shared with parents, educators, play advocates and other stakeholders through a multi-channel communications and marketing campaign.
“When we make sure that our children’s lives are filled with play, we all benefit: our communities will be healthier and happier today, and our society will be stronger and more resilient tomorrow. That’s why a partnership like the one with Mattel is critical to help raise awareness, and ultimately, bring about the kind of change we need to see at all levels of society to help our children and communities thrive,” continued Hammond.About KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 95,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org. About Mattel Children’s Foundation The Mattel Children's Foundation was established in 1978 with a vision of making a meaningful difference in the lives of children in need around the world. Today, the Foundation continues its focus with a commitment to the importance of play and supports programs that address barriers of play that children face: time to play, place to play, tools to play with, and advocates for play in a child’s life. The Foundation operates strategic grantmaking through support of domestic and international programs, as well as international scholarships to children of employees, matching gifts and volunteer grants for Mattel employees. During its history, the Foundation has partnered with thousands of organizations and has impacted the lives of millions of children around the world. The Mattel Children's Foundation is incorporated as a separate charitable organization and is funded exclusively by cash donations from Mattel, Inc. as a part of its commitment to dedicate 2% of its pretax profit to philanthropic efforts.
About Mattel Inc.Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie ®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels ®, Monster High ®, American Girl ®, Thomas & Friends ® and Fisher-Price ® brands, including Little People ® and Power Wheels ®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the sixth year in a row and as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine. Mattel also is ranked No. 2 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs nearly 40,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel. MAT-SI