Play Everywhere Philly

Eligibility   Inspiration

Awarding $1 million in Play Everywhere grants in Philadelphia

KABOOM! invites you to apply for Play Everywhere Philly, an exciting new, city-wide competition to support child development and literacy skills through interactive play installations in everyday locations across Philadelphia.

The program will award $1 million in Play Everywhere grants to interested groups who will work with designers to create playful learning features at places like sidewalks, bus stops, footpaths and areas outside businesses where kids aged 0-8 can play and learn together with caregivers. Play Everywhere Philly is funded by the William Penn Foundation.

Play Everywhere Philly applicants will have the opportunity to receive 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.

The application period is now closed.

Playful learning

Playful Learning Landscapes uses an evidence-based approach that harnesses both free play — in spaces designed for children to discover and explore — and "guided play," which encourages the child to lead the way through environments that have been specifically designed to spark interactions that support learning and skill development.

Projects designed using Playful Learning Landscapes' approach have produced significant increases in adult-child conversations using color, spatial, numeric and letter language — the very ingredients that yield better outcomes in literacy and STEM skills.

Kids spend 80% of their time outside of school, but cities often lack opportunities for play and informal learning outside of the classroom. Play Everywhere Philly installations will help fill this gap by promoting early childhood learning through playful learning approaches.


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.

All applicants must agree to and comply with the Play Everywhere Philly official rules.

How to apply

Part 1: Idea Form

March 6, 2020 Idea Form final deadline

Beginning December 1, 2019, the Play Everywhere Philly Idea Form opens
Interested applicants can visit to submit a simple Idea Form sharing their idea to get kids and families playing and learning everywhere. You'll be asked to share:

  • Description of your Play Everywhere project
  • Drawing, sketch, photomontage, digital rendering or some kind of visual depiction of the idea
  • Location of the project
  • Any additional project partners
  • A description of the playful learning elements for kids aged 0-8
  • A description of the community you wish to serve and why it's important its kids and families experience Play Everywhere

Part 2: Full application

July 15 Full application final deadline

After the Idea Form deadline closes, a pool of Idea Form applicants will be narrowed down to a pool of top candidates. Top candidates will submit a full application for their projects and will receive technical assistance from KABOOM! to refine their proposals. Applicants will be asked to share:

  • A project budget
  • Timeline for executing the Play Everywhere project
  • Plans for engaging the community in design and implementation

Part 3: Winner notification & Implementation

Winning communities will be notified in September 2020. Winning projects must be implemented within October 2020 through October 2021.

Play Everywhere inspiration

Check out these completed Play Everywhere projects for inspiration for your idea. Our Play Everywhere Playbook is a must read for communities considering Play Everywhere projects. It features case studies, design guides and more to help you make the best choice for your community.

See more projects

About the William Penn Foundation

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

William Penn Foundation