The Mission of Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network

PLL Action Network is an initiative of the Ultimate Block Party, a 501(c)(3) organization.  We are committed to fostering the creation of playful learning infrastructure and activities in the everyday spaces where children and families gather. By infusing our cities with playful learning opportunities, we can enhance children’s cognitive and social development, better preparing them for success in the 21st-century.

photo: Sahar Coston-Hardy

Our Origin Story

Playful Learning Landscapes lies at the intersection of the global cities movement and the movement to optimize early education. New learning models need to embrace a breadth of skills that allow children to succeed in a world of uncertainty. Projections suggest that by 2050 over 825 million children will reach adulthood without the basic skills required to succeed in the workplace. The general response to this inequality has been to enrich education, this is critical, yet – it is not enough. Children spend only 20% of their waking time in school, and learning today occurs in and out of the classroom. What are we doing with the other 80%? Playful Learning Landscapes is one answer to the question: 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?

What is Playful Learning?

Playful Learning embraces the idea that children can learn through all types of play, but that children learn best when play is guided and learning goals are incorporated into the play environment. When we talk about learning through play we are talking about the development of critical skills for development and academic achievement, and success in school and beyond. 

The 6 Cs for Development and Academic Achievement

Chart from “Becoming Brilliant” by Roberta Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

These skills include collaboration (building something together), communication (talking, writing, listening), content (academic skills, learning facts, or acquiring self-regulatory behaviors), critical thinking (sifting through information and problem solving), creative innovation (thinking of new and original ways to solve problems), and confidence (persisting through failure). Evidence has shown that play is best for learning these skills when it is joyful, meaningful, socially interactive, actively engaging, and iterative.

Join us!

Playful Learning Landscapes can become a part of your city… from sidewalks to buildings to laundromats. Submit the form below to find out more!

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Consider contributing to our many initiatives.
Thank you!

Checks payable to Ultimate Block Party, Inc. can be sent to:

Ultimate Block Party, Inc.
C/O: Temple Infant & Child Lab
580 Meetinghouse Rd.
Ambler, PA 19002