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Playground Ideas is a non-profit organisation that supports anyone, anywhere to build a stimulating space for play using only local materials, tools, and skills.

Our model

Do it yourself

Using our free step-by-step designs and manuals, anyone anywhere can build safe and stimulating spaces for play from local tools and materials, and utlising local skills.

Build your own playground

Get our help

Through custom design and on-site support, we’ve helped clients all over the globe make their playground dreams a reality (1-1000 playgrounds with budgets over $15K.)

More info

Unite

Already a play champion? Let’s support each other. Join the Global Play Alliance, a network of organisations focused on creating play opportunities for children in communities where the resources to facilitate such do not exist or are in short supply.

Join the Global Play Alliance

Our Team

Marcus Veerman

Marcus Veerman

Founder & CEO

Marcus struck it lucky being born in Melbourne, Australia, which has been voted the world’s most liveable city several times. His favourite play-space growing up was a den in the hollowed-out roots of an old tree. With a background in primary education, outdoor leadership, and design-build learning, Marcus founded Playground Ideas after spearheading the construction of 40 bespoke playgrounds along the Thai/Burma border. He then went on to respond to a wave of interest in international playground building by creating an open-source platform to share best practices. Demand for his services has taken him to Asia, Africa, The Middle East and South America to facilitate playground construction, consult on projects and train teams of playground builders.

Elizabeth Moreno

Elizabeth Moreno

Communications & Program Development Manager

Elizabeth hails from the Great Pacific Northwest, USA, where her childhood playground was a backyard forest of evergreens and a trickling creek. With an academic background in Peace Studies, she has worked with US and international non-profits. Elizabeth joined Playground Ideas after collaborating with Marcus on a playground build in post-conflict northern Uganda where she spent three years working in early childhood education and non-profit management. She has facilitated playground builds in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, and has focused on developing methodologies for community engagement and child participation in design.

The Playlab

The Playlab

Our community

Playground Ideas would not exist without our global community of play advocates. The Playlab is our diverse community of architects, educators, designers, builders, students, web-developers, makers, do-ers and dreamers. They are fellows, volunteers, donors and organisers; they’re part-time, long-term and one-time helpers. These talented individuals contribute their skills and passion, working out of their own homes or on-site at playground builds all over the world. Our community believes in both the power of play and in resources being open-source and free.

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Get Involved

Marcus Veerman at TEDxMelbourne

Our story

From Marcus Veerman, CEO

In 2007, I was living in Thailand when a local NGO asked if I would help them build a playground. Throwing together a design and a crew of volunteers, we set to work, and before we had finished that first playground, the headmaster of a neighbouring school asked if we could help them do the same. And so it began. Requests began pouring in, and over the next two years a rag-tag gang of volunteers, artists, builders and makers built 40 playgrounds along the Thai-Burma border. I started posting photos of our work online, which led to my inbox being flooded with emails asking for playground building assistance from other parts of Thailand, and then from around the world. That’s when everything changed. Read the full story on Medium.com.

100%

of donations go towards creating open-source resources and supporting our global community of play-making-heroes.

Our funding

A small group of private philanthropists cover our administrative expenses so that your money can go directly to the Playground Ideas cause. This means when you donate to us, 100% of the donation goes towards expanding global access to play. Our work is funded by generous individual donors as well as corporate playground sponsors, who leverage their work in the play industry to make an impact globally.

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