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this holiday season give the gift of play

{ We build playgrounds where there are none and we work with others to do the same }

who we are

Playground Ideas is a non-profit organization that trains individuals and organizations to build low-cost and sustainable playgrounds. Started in 2007, in Mae Sot, Thailand along the Burmese border. Designed and built over 46 playgrounds in Southeast Asia. Helped with the the construction of over 80 playgrounds throughout the world. Provided playspaces for over 15,000 children.

Where we have worked Bangladesh Cambodia Ecuador Fiji Greece India Jamaica Kenya Laos Lesotho Malaysia Mexico Nicaragua Peru Philippines Slovakia Thailand Vietnam

“Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. This birthright is challenged by forces including child labor and exploitation practices, war and neighborhood violence, and the limited resources available to children living in poverty.� Ginsburg, Kenneth R. (2007), "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds". PEDIATRICS Vol. 119 No. 1. pp. 182-191.

{When I was working in the slums of Jamaica, I noticed most of the boys had these scars on their faces. At first I thought that the scars were from violence at home. Instead I learned that the boys had nothing else to play with but throw rocks at each other. That is why what you are doing is important.}

Why our Playgrounds are important We give children access to creative inspiring playspaces to encourage ingenuity, creativity, imagination, problem solving and social skills. This is achieved through creating dynamic, open-ended spaces for children to challenge and explore their world on their terms. We offer resources and training to assist local teachers to effectively use playspaces as an extension of their classroom curriculum. We supply schools with classroom curriculum to use with our playground equipment. We promote the importance of education and educational facilities. Playground Ideas works in areas where the school facilities are usually very basic. We build large, colorful, well-designed spaces, showing the local community that their school and playground are important. The playgrounds become places of pride for the children and their parents, and have been shown to increase school attendance and engagement. Playground Ideas works with community volunteers, parents, the school staff and the children themselves to build playspaces. The act of organizing a playspace can become as important as the product itself. It is our goal that the small act of building a community playspace can act as a catalyst for further positive action in the school and community.

local materials:

local skills:

We use simple, cheap materials -- mostly car, bike and truck tires. Tires are usually free, safe and, with a few coats of bright paint, they look a lot better in our playspaces than in a landfill.

We use building skills already present in the community, so that when the playground breaks, it can be fixed easily.

local local labor:

We use local volunteers from the community and, when needed, we employ local labor.

local stories:

We encourage the community to design their playground to reflect their community.


teaching through play


layground Ideas started partly as a reaction to the classroom environment in some schools in the developing world. Imagine little to no books, an austere classroom, a sea of students with a single teacher.

Active Learning Tire Calculator: Recycled Tires with numbers painted on them. Allows for active learning.

step-by-step plans: See-saw We work with people who speak different languages and have varying reading skills. As a result, Playground Ideas has developed all graphical building plans. Just numbers and pictures. Additionally, we also developed a safety manual that illustrates the US Playground Safety Standards.

tHE $500 Playground

The $500 Playground, designed for a site in Davao, Philippines.


ompared to a Western playground which can cost over $100,000, we are very proud of our playground design that, for $500, can provide play for over 200 children.

give the gift of play

This year make a holiday gift that will benefit children for years to come. Choose a playground piece to donate from the list below. We’ll return an e-card to you or to the recipient you choose highlighting the gift and how it will contribute to children’s lives in schools and communities. Click one of the buttons below and you’ll be brought to our PayPay donation site.

Click here to donate

United States (Tax Deductible)*

AUstralia (Tax Deductible)**

To give a playground piece as a gift please: Choose an item from the pages that follow, donate the amount through our PayPal link, then please email us at with the following information: The recipient’s name; recipient’s email address and a message (optional), the piece you wish to donate in their name; and any other special instructions. *US Donations: Your donation is tax-deductible. Playground Ideas has 501c3 status under a “Fiscal Sponsorship” arrangement under another larger foundation, FJC Foundation. When you are directed to the Paypal page, you will see both FJC and Playground Ideas. Rest assured, your donation will go entirely to Playground Ideas. **World Relief Australia Inc. (ABN 71 714 394 942, ARBN 125 059 967) is the trustee of the World Relief Overseas Aid Fund (ABN 96 112 236 539). PlaygroundIDEAS has Deductable Gift Recipient Status as a project of World Relief Australia. While these costs represent the true cost of playground equipment in the developing world, gifts made through this catalog represent a gift to the entire organizational mission of Playground Ideas. Our resources are limited; donations are not tracked per project. We use your gifts where they can do the most good by aggregating them with the gifts of others. And, because you are helping Playground Ideas to achieve its mission -- to build playgrounds where there are none and helping others to do the same -- your gift is tax deductible.

Cubby $200







Rocket climber $40 Donate


The Octopus $25





Playground $500 Donate

P b f o

Play is our brain 's favorite way of learning.

Playground Ideas US: (812) 269-6335 AU: +61432738719


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