The new Dolores Community Playground just expanded to include a section designed for toddlers.
KABOOM! donated $80,000 worth of equipment in cooperation with the Colorado Health Foundation. The equipment was designed with the help of local children and installed Oct. 26 in cooperation with the town of Dolores.
The new section for 2- to 5-year-olds is now open to the public, in addition to the main playground structure for older children that was completed in June.
Playgrounds tend to cater to older kids, so the nonprofit KABOOM! focuses on toddlers to end “playspace inequity,” according to a press release.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making indoor play a risk, outdoor spaces to let kids be kids are more important than ever, town officials said.
“The toddler play space built for this community gives our youngest kids in Dolores and the surrounding area a place where they can play safely next to their older siblings and other children,” said Kalin Grigg, Dolores Park Advisory Committee chair.
“A play space for our littlest community members has been lacking here. This play space is a dream, and lots of hard work turned into a wonderful reality.”
In September, kids from the community participated in a virtual Design Day and thought up ideas for their “dream playground.” The final design was inspired by their drawings, officials said.
As part of pandemic restrictions, the toddler playground is limited to a maximum of 25 children. Six feet of social distance must be observed, and face coverings should be worn with unable to maintain safe social distancing.
KABOOM! officials want playgrounds to be accessible to children of all ages.
“We know disasters and crises often exacerbate the inequities that communities are already experiencing,” said James Siegal, CEO of KABOOM! “We must stop the play space inequities from becoming even deeper after we get through this pandemic, giving every kid the chance to play and just enjoy being a kid.”
Kids who don’t have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health, the organization said.