We want Atlanta to be a great place to raise your children, and that means having great places to play.

Who We Are is a project of the Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP). ATOP was founded in 2007 to apply to KaBOOM!’s Playful City USA competition on behalf of the City of Atlanta. Working closely with the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, ATOP was successful and Atlanta became one of the 31 Founding Playful Cities and went on to win first prize in the PCUSA video grant competition. Check out ATOP’s winning video .
ATOP is a fiscal partner of the local 501(c)(3) nonprofit Park Pride.

For info: Cynthia (at)

To REPAIR/BUILD Playgrounds

REPAIRS: See something that needs to be fixed in a City of Atlanta playground? Please report it to Parks Dept. Customer Service at: 404-546-6813

In the News & ATOP Partners


The Wall Street Journal

Atlanta Business Chronicle: ABC-Private Grants Help Deliver.pdf

Atlanta Magazine: Play With A Purpose, Why Kids Need Recess

KaBOOM! Playmaker of the Month

Recreation & Parks in Georgia Magazine: Creating Partnerships in Atlanta
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Centers of Hope Good for Atlanta's Kids
ATOP in Metropolis
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CNN iReport
Delta's SKY Magazine
The Treehouse in the News
ATOP/SCAD's Sculpture Department Project at Camp Twin Lakes
Camp Twin Lakes' News Splash p. 3-4
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
New York Times
National Cities Weekly
Georgia Front Page
Southeast Green
Atlanta Board of Education's Khaatim El - blog

ATOP Advisory Board
Dr. Arthur Wendel, CDC
Medical Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
National Center for Environmental Health, Public Health and Built Environment Initiative
Tom Walsh, Founding Principal, Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates
Olga Jarrett, PhD - Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University; Former President, International Play Association
Orland Esval, Director of eCommerce, AT&T

City of Atlanta
Playful City USA
Park Pride
Camp Twin Lakes

Central Atlanta Progress
Tool Bank
Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates




Blog Posts

Play Is Valuable and Powerful All By Itself

Grandson Wyatt at play

Without fail the picture gracing the place of honor on my iPhone is of one or more of my grandchildren doing what kids under five do best - playing just for…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on May 4, 2015 at 11:30pm

Declaration on the Importance of Play

Did you ever wonder WHY play was important? The International Play Association has just released their Declaration on the Importance of Play. IPA President Theresa Casey says,

“It has never been more…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on May 4, 2015 at 10:30am

Spring Into Action-Help Get West End Kids an Imagination Playground!

An Imagination Playground in Action at Atlanta's Bethune Elementary School

We need to raise $1,000 this week to ship an Imagination Playground to…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on April 28, 2015 at 12:42pm

This is the BEST DAY EVER! Snow Day 2015

Photo: Lianne Epstein Deren

Today is supposed to be SNOW DAY 2015 in Atlanta. So far, the white stuff has yet to materialize, but most schools are still closed just in case. That means a lot of kids are hanging out at home. I hope…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on February 25, 2015 at 4:30pm

Trauma in Childhood Leads to a Lifetime of Disease and Worse-What If You Add Play

   (click on the photo to launch Dr. Burke Harris' TEDmed Talk)

For several years as I have worked with children in traumatic circumstances - from those suffering from chronic disease, to…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on February 18, 2015 at 11:30pm

Atlanta Will Be Extraordinary

These 21 swings line a Montreal street every year, and they make beautiful music when they move (click on the picture to see the video.) That's the kind of thing that can make a place special. 

Atlanta needs to be special. Not, "Wow, you wouldn't believe all the stuff you can buy here" special, but "Wow, when you're in Atlanta you can just feel the care that goes into everything. It's like…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on December 1, 2014 at 2:52pm

At Serenbe You Can Learn A Lot from Children If You Listen and Watch

If you talk to grownups who work in the field of play you will soon discover who they go to when they need real information Turns out they know a lot about play (even though many don't get to play too much any more). Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with some very creative and very…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on December 1, 2014 at 9:30am

2015: The NEW Play Atlanta is Coming!

‘People who grow up in a city that cared for them are more likely to care for their city.’

An interview with Jagan Shah, Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, India…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on November 28, 2014 at 8:45am

Why is Atlanta Lagging in Attracting Graduates?

Check out the New York Times article on cities that are attracting graduates who, in turn, attract business.…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on October 22, 2014 at 7:30pm

Look at Them Looking

"Look at them, looking," he once urged me as we watched some children draw- and then he added, "their eyes meeting the world." He wished that schools, especially, would take the child as artist more seriously: "A youngster drawing is a youngster thinking, a youngster telling you a…


Posted by Cynthia Gentry on October 3, 2014 at 8:48am


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Watch this video to see why play matters!! 

Aqui esta en Español: 

FANTASTIC blog about playgrounds: Playscapes



Click for the Find a Playground app to put on your phone.

Playworks 2010-2011 PLAYBOOK

Pretty much everything you ever needed to know about play.

And, of course, KaBOOM! Find a playground, plan a Play Day, how to build a playground, and much, much more.

Playgroundology, an emerging social science. 


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Ethan E., our first donor


Ethan's grandmother gave him a gift of $25. He gave $20 to ATOP so more Atlanta kids will have great places to play. He kept $5 to get something cool for himself. We think Ethan is pretty cool!

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© 2015   Created by Cynthia Gentry.

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