*The Background *Noted child development experts Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Dr. Roberta Golinkoff began to see patterns in their research that showed that children learn best through playful experiences when guided by an adult. They asked themselves how can we reinvent everyday experiences as fun learning opportunities that organically prompt the kinds of interactions that help children thrive? How can we change the everyday to make it more extraordinary? In 2009, they hosted an event called the Ultimate Block Party in Central Park that showcased over 29 different playful learning activities, over 50,000 people attended. Ultimate Block Parties in Baltimore and Toronto soon followed. Since then, with funding from the William Penn Foundation and others, installations were created at a bus stop in Philadelphia (Urban Thinkscape), a life sized board game, Parkopolis at the Please Touch Museum and numerous additional sites in Philadelphia with the goal of transforming Philadelphia into a playful learning city.Playful Learning Landscapes has partnered with organizations in Chicago, Seattle, Santa Ana and New Jersey to transform public spaces into learning opportunities. We have also provided technical assistance for groups in Nairobi, Bangladesh and Venice to enrich their public space designs with playful learning. Our model is to work through partnership, provide open source materials and advise on design.
How to get involved
You'll need to dedicate a half day per week to getting the project up and running in your community.