The 5 Winners of the Build a World of Play Challenge

For the LEGO ® brand’s 90th anniversary we’ve made a commitment to the world’s youngest children, giving out grants worth 900 million Danish Kroner to organisations that can help us give children the best start in life. Now the winners have been found!

The Challenge

Clinton Health Access Initiative

Project name: Early Assistive Technology Access

Location: Sierra Leone, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Indonesia

Millions of children with disabilities are barred from their right to play because they lack access to life-changing assistive technology such as wheelchairs or hearing aids. Only a fraction of them get the products and services they need, largely through charitable donations. The Clinton Health Access Initiative aims to transform play for disabled children in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. It will support governments to implement policies that integrate screening, early access to assistive technology, and play therapy into health facilities and schools.

Find out more here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health

Project name: Reclaiming Children’s Futures

Location: United States

Indigenous people suffer the greatest inequities in the world – including the devastating loss of children to foster care. The Family Spirit programme protects and strengthens parent-child relationships through culturally-grounded home education from pregnancy to age 5 and will be expanded in communities across the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The team aims to add to its impact with natured-based family play spaces to promote the power of playing together as well as reinforcing Indigenous family traditions.

Find out more here.

Impact and Innovation Development Centre

Project name: REAL Fathers

Location: Uganda

Children struggle to thrive when they’re growing up in a violent home. Responsible, Engaged And Loving (REAL) Fathers is a government-endorsed positive parenting programme. Mentors coach parents in play and nonviolent discipline – which in turn helps children in Uganda grow up healthier and happier. IIDC and its partners aim to adapt REAL across more local cultures, train more community-based mentors and help local government track the project’s impact.

Find out more here.

IRD Global

Project name: GogoPlay

Location: South Africa

11% of South Africa’s population is under the age of five. Children and their caregivers living in remote areas often miss out on early childhood development (ECD) initiatives. So IRD Global and its partners aim to co-create playhouses in rural South Africa. They’ll focus on pre-school classes for young children, as well as day care and mental health services for caregivers and other community members. And they’ll train local women, particularly grandmothers (gogos), on ECD to extend reach into communities nearby.

Find out more here.

Ubongo International

Project name: Akili Family

Location: Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda

Africa’s youngest learners are missing out on early education. Caregivers lack the knowledge and resources to support them – believing play is disruptive, and learning starts at school. Ubongo creates and distributes locally relevant learning resources through TV, radio, digital and mobile to 31 million families across 23 countries in Africa. It plans to scale the Akili Family programme to bring play-based resources to family’s homes.

Find out more here.

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Children know play is their superpower 

We’re here to convince the grown-ups. Because play is something every child, everywhere in the world can do. It fuels curiosity, sparks creativity, and inspires a lifelong love of learning. Children who play pick up all kinds of skills to thrive today – and lay the foundations for a happier, healthier life tomorrow.

Why Play?

Why play matters

Play unlocks essential skills

Our world never stops changing, so how do we prepare children to navigate it? We let them play. Children thrive on play. It’s also perfect practice for tomorrow. Given the chance to think, negotiate, adapt to new rules and try again when things don’t go to plan, children develop essential skills that’ll last a lifetime.

Play for skills

Play boosts wellbeing for life

Better mental health. More resilience. A love of learning that lasts a lifetime. All ways that play boosts wellbeing from childhood.

Play for wellbeing

Play is for everyone, everywhere

Play is how children learn naturally. That’s what makes it so powerful, and why it’s so important to make room for play.

Play for all

Ready to play?

When children play, they learn. They solve problems, think strategically, relate to others, and manage life’s ups and downs. Play helps children learn how to learn – and love learning. We've gathered some of our favourite games. You can play them anywhere – using things you find at home.

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