Communities in Maryland and Virginia were applauded for encouraging children to play. (Jose Leiva/AP)

Four cities in Virginia and five in Maryland were recognized for innovative and increased opportunities for play, including the number of playgrounds.

The annual “Playful City USA” list was compiled by Kaboom!, a non-profit organization “dedicated to saving play.”

Alexandria, Danville, Hopewell and Norfolk were singled out in Virginia.

Baltimore, Capitol Heights, Greenbelt, Laurel and Takoma Park made the Maryland list.

The District was not among the 213 communities cited nationwide.