Susan Magsamen
Susan Magsamen
Director of Interdisciplinary Partnerships
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Brain Science Institute

Darell Hammond

Darell Hammond — Credit Kaboom!Chief Executive Officer and Founder, KaBOOM!

Author of The New York Times Bestseller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play

Darell Hammond is the Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, a not-for-profit based in Washington, DC dedicated to saving play by making sure there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. KaBOOM! works with communities and corporations to build playgrounds in all 50 states where there are none. To help start the conversation and educate Americans about the importance of play in children’s lives, Hammond wrote KABOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play (Rodale, April 2011).

Founded out of Hammond’s apartment in 1996, KaBOOM! has raised $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of 2,000 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play.

Hammond lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Kate Becker.

Click here to learn more about Kaboom!

What Others Are Saying

"Kaboom! attempts to do what we know is so important and that is to provide spaces and playgrounds in neighborhoods around the U.S., particularly in very tough, difficult neighborhoods where they haven’t had a playground for many years because of violence and gangs, drugs and some of the other challenges they face."

Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Senator, September 1998

Photo Credit: Toby Jorrin, Kaboom!"I’ve known Kaboom! for a long time. They’ve done stuff not just here in San Francisco but around the country. They’ve done projects in Chicago, my hometown. For the last 14 years, Kaboom! has been building playgrounds in under-served communities across the country and their vision is to have great places for kids to play within walking distance of their homes, and they do this by enlisting the help of communities and people like you from around the country. That’s why we’re here."

Michelle Obama, First lady, June 22, 2009, Kaboom! build in San Francisco

"As a kid, I had an opportunity to have a place where I could go play and be a kid. Now with Kaboom! and Kool-Aid, I’m helping to give kids an opportunity to do the same thing that, in my eyes, made me the persio I am today."

Antawn Jamison, NBA All-Star, September 19, 2008, Kaboom! pre-build interview in Washington D.C.

Kaboom! at a Glance

Kaboom! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all children deserve to be active and healthy, Kaboom! works to ensure that every child in American has a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, Kaboom! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more than 1,900 new places to play across North America. Kaboom! also fights the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the movement to save play. The Kaboom! website,, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level.