Playbrary: Play + Learn
A library is a perfect spot to enhance with playful learning opportunities. Reading can come alive when it is nested into opportunities for dramatic play, and play with words can gain currency on a new kind of rock climbing wall. In Playbrary, we take early learning in language, literacy and STEM to new design levels where seating becomes tangram puzzles and children engage in language games. Sponsored by the Wm. Penn Foundation with lead team members DIGSAU, Studio Ludo, and Erector Sets, Inc.
The Learning Goal
The Play-And-Learn Spaces will foster Collaboration through building activities with peers, Communication and language skills, and Confidence through physical achievements.
Each branch has a set of large multi-colored tangram blocks that allow children to build seating and forts, learning pattern recognition, shapes, and geometric construction. The Cecil B. Moore branch features a spelling/climbing wall, a stage box for fort building, and bookshelf puzzle nooks for reading. The Whitman branch sports a lookout tower with letters cut out of its sides. The Wyoming branch stars a stage with magnetic word panels and tiered amphitheater seating leading to a homework station.
The project is a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, architecture firm DIGSAU, play consultants Studio Ludo and Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, fabricator Erector Sets, and with playful learning support from Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University), Brenna Hassinger-Das (Pace University), and Jenn Zosh (Penn State University).
The Play-And-Learn Spaces is a project of the Free Library of Philadelphia and generously supported by the William Penn Foundation.
The play spaces are such a hit, attendance has doubled! There have been significant increases in
physical activity and laughter, as well as more adult-child interactions.