Let’s Play, It’s Important!

Children need to engage in active play every day; that is why BCBSNM is joining with organizations like KaBOOM!

Many adults may remember playing outside with friends, drinking from the garden hose, wandering in and out of the neighbor’s house and only going home when mom called for dinner. Some of today’s children may not know these simple life pleasures because they are playing less and less.

Activity time for many children includes sitting on the couch watching television and playing video games. Only one in four children may get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity needed to stay healthy. Even if they wanted to go outside, some children do not live near a safe place to play and be active.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) has joined with KaBOOM!, a national organization dedicated to giving all children the childhood they deserve. Together, they support balanced and active play and providing safe play environments for New Mexico’s kids. BCBSNM understands play is essential to a child’s social, emotional and physical well-being.

This year, BCBSNM donated and built a KaBOOM! playground with our community partner Catholic Charities. The playground is part of the new Casa de Corazon Learning Center. It includes slides, climbing walls, covered forts, teeter-totters and picnic tables with shade awnings.

It takes a collective effort to build such a playground.

“It takes a collective effort to build such a playground,” said Jim Gannon, chief executive officer, Catholic Charities. “Our staff isn’t big enough to do this alone. We appreciate BCBSNM stepping up to assist us.”

BCBSNM also provided an Imagination Playground in a Cart™ to the Native American Community Academy. The Imagination Playground is a collection of oversized blue foam parts that allows children to build and rebuild play structures using their imaginations. It helps develop healthy bodies, resilient and creative minds and social and emotional well-being. This is the seventh Imagination Playground BCBSNM has donated since 2014.

More than 250 students in kindergarten through fifth grade will use the Imagination Playground. “It is definitely an asset for us to keep kids engaged, excited about education,” said Zane Rosette, head of the Native American Community Academy. “The kids are excited and we are excited to use this equipment.”

“The children will enjoy coming to the outdoors,” said one Casa de Corazon parent. “They will have more activities to do. They will enjoy a better playground all around.”

A balance of play may mean active minds and active bodies. BCBSNM feels strongly that safe play is a good investment for good health in the future.