Meet the 2020 winners
We invite you to apply for Play Everywhere Philly! Play Everywhere Philly is a city-wide collaborative challenge to create playful learning spaces that support child development and literacy skills in everyday locations across Philadelphia.
The program will award $1 million in Play Everywhere grants to groups working with designers to create playful learning features at places like sidewalks, bus stops, footpaths, and areas outside businesses. With support from KABOOM!, the William Penn Foundation, Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network (PLLAN), and Watchdog Project Management, grantees will develop places for kids aged 0-8 to play, strengthen caregiver and youth engagement, and promote early childhood literacy and learning.
What is Play Everywhere Philly?
Learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge
To be eligible for a grant, the project must be within the city limits of Philadelphia. Groups from all sectors are welcome to apply, including government entities, neighborhood organizations, community groups, non-profit organizations, local business groups and faith organizations. Installations are not intended to be used in formal learning environments, like schools and daycares.
Idea Form Preview
Here is a preview of the questions on the Idea Form. Check it out to see how easy it is to apply!
All applicants must agree to and comply with the Play Everywhere Philly official rules.
Beginning on May 1, 2023, the Play Everywhere Philly Idea Form opens. Interested applicants have until the form closes on June 30, 2023 to submit their ideas. Finalists will be asked to submit additional information including budget, timeline and community activation by September 2023 with winners being announced in October 2023 .
Our 16 Play Everywhere Philly winners received technical assistance from two organizations: Playful Learning Landscapes, to help applicants incorporate playful learning approaches into their project designs, and Community Design Collaborative, to provide applicants with technical design assistance.
BACA will be converting an empty neighborhood lot into a play and learning hub that includes a puzzle wall, walking trails, fitness areas, and open areas for groups to gather. The playspace will build math and spatial skills, as well as teach kids about colors, numbers and the alphabet.
The PCDC is transforming the 10th Street Plaza into a PlayZa with an illustrated map of Chinatown, games and interactive learning murals — complete with English, Mandarin and Cantonese translations.
"Clay, Play, Read" is the installation of two, ceramic murals at the Cecil B. Moore and Kensington libraries. Designed by the community, these murals will explore art and literacy on custom tiles that will prompt families to create words, name animals and create stories.
Demonstrating the community's rich history and artists, "Discovering Sharwswood" is an interactive treasure hunt spread across nearly a dozen kiosks in the neighborhood. The interactive kiosks will feature puzzles and games that teach topics such as art history, eating healthy produce and civil rights.
Book Nook, Computer Lab Lane, Alphabet Alley, Counting Court Marketplace, and Town Clock will be the newest stations at this new "town center" within the NSC. The multi-lingual stations will promote multi-culturalism and cultural literacy learning, as well as, serve as a weekend Farmer's Market!
A new addition to the Frankford Pause Park, this playspace will educate kids about storm water management and the water cycle while they run, jump and play. Kids will simulate evaporation, condensation and precipitation as they play, expanding their understanding about environmental science.
A play wall, rain garden, outdoor classroom and more will be installed alongside a "learning shed" at the FESPP managed park. Kids will play and also learn about science, sustainability and animal life thanks to neighborhood partnerships and nearby schools.
Happy Feet will enhance musical skills through singing and creative movement activities through the use of boxes made of bells and steel. These boxes will be located outside of laundromats and other high-traffic areas for kids and families across Philadelphia.
This project includes a renovation of the Puentes Community Health and Wellness Center that will be covered in interactive murals celebrating the community members heritage. The murals aim to prompt meaningful conversations and the discovery of indigenousness languages.
A kid-sized traffic park where families can practice the rules of the road and safe street habits. The Lil' Philly Safety Village will have traffic lights, intersections, pedestrian crossings and bike lanes.
This playwalk wrapped around Lucien E. Blackwell Homes community will encourage walking, skipping, and running using creative objects encouraging creative play between the homes and community center.
This playspace consists of 32 curated science kits that aim to inspire kids and their families to explore the natural aspects of their neighborhood. With indoor and outdoor activities, the kits will help increase literacy behaviors through vocabulary and science-rich conversations.
This project will transform an uninviting, triangular lot into a park where people can learn and play together, while reflecting on the neighborhood's past, present, and future in the three, giant canvases. Additional programming for the space will be provided by Nicetown-Tioga Library Branch.
This project will enhance community green spaces with play elements that teach kids about environmental resiliency and food systems in their own neighborhood, including a farm stand, locally-made sculptures, seating, and sidewalk paint illustrating the role of green storm water infrastructure in the watershed.
PPR's "Play Mobile" is a pop-up play kit for use at the city's parks and recreation centers. Filled with books, musical instruments, loose-parts play, jump ropes and balls of all kinds, these kits will create play opportunities in the neighborhoods that need them most, and create playspaces during the Winter months.
Kids will move station-to-station alongside the Delaware River playing together and learning from topics in literacy, spatial math, critical thinking and problem solving. The unique stations may include puzzles, plexiglass mazes, or painted "story stones".
Play Everywhere Philly is funded by the William Penn Foundation. The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. Learn more about the William Penn Foundation
Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network (PLLAN) fosters the creation of playful learning infrastructure and activities in everyday spaces where children and families gather. PLLAN works with communities, designers, and researchers to transform spaces like corner lots, laundromats, and bus stops into hubs of playful learning. Providing equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities in everyday places and spaces enhances children’s cognitive and social development and prepares them for success in the 21st-century.
Watchdog’s vision and strategic direction is to empower excellence in our people through an unparalleled workplace culture that enables them to passionately serve and fiercely protect our clients. Through innovative thought leadership, unwavering commitment to our core values, and the highest standards of professionalism, we strive toward strategic organizational growth and continuous improvement. Above all else, we view success as leaving a distinctly positive imprint on the lives of our people, our clients, and in the communities we so proudly serve. We strive to align every project with our core values of community, authenticity, integrity, empowerment, entrepreneurship, and passion.
Through the provision of comprehensive services from predevelopment through ribbon cuttings, Watchdog is committed to using our skills to positively impact communities and the lives of their residents. By working alongside community-focused organizations, we aim to help increase the volume and quality of social impact development, therefore making our neighborhoods stronger and more prosperous.