Play for Change

Play means more than toys and games! It is a connector—play can shape the way children, adults, and communities interact with one another and think about their days, how they use their community space, and most importantly how to solve problems. For children, play is how they learn. For communities, it can be the key to building engagement and ownership in our shared public spaces or to addressing some of our most critical challenges.


In partnership with the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes, educators  came on Tuesday, October 30 to the Carnegie Museum of Art in the Oakland community of Pittsburgh for a day-long event to think critically about play.

25 teams of 5-7 individuals from neighborhoods, boroughs, and cities from across southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia convened to:

  1. Explore WHAT is play, and WHY play?
  2. Understand the play continuum and the role of “playful learning,” such as the Six C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, culture/community, creativity, and connectivity) and their importance in positioning our children for the future.
  3. Consider a “play community.” Why they are important? And, how to define a vision, mission, purpose, and goals in the creation of your own playful community. We’ll talk about lessons learned from the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and the Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes.
  4. Learn more about transforming public spaces into community play and playful learning spaces such as hands on installations of playful learning modules.
  5. Develop action plans for infusing play in your community. What challenges at the school, neighborhood or city-level do you think ‘play’ may help address in your own community? How do we design communities with intention to address these challenges? We’ll talk about the Hazelwood Play Trail case study.

All while considering issues of equity, transportation, safety, play across the ages, community input and more.

Thank You To Our Sponsors and Partners

Thank you to our: partners Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes,co-hosts Carnegie Museum of Art and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, series sponsor PNC Grow Up Great and sponsors The Grable Foundation and The Benedum Foundation.


PNC Grow Up Great logo




The Grable Foundation logo with tagline




Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation logo

About Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative

The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to advancing the importance of play in the lives of children, families, and communities in the Pittsburgh region. We accomplish this by raising awareness that play is important for all ages, educating decision makers about the value of play and modeling playful activities.

About Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes

Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes is an initiative aimed at transforming everyday places into learning opportunities. It marries the learning sciences with urban revitalization to craft carefully planned play experiences that focus on learning outcomes, particularly for children and families from under-resourced communities. To learn more, click here.

Play for Change UnConference logo