Playful Learning

Playful Learning is a collaborative programme between the Danish University Colleges and the LEGO Foundation. The ambition with Playful Learning is to enhance children’s creative and experimental approach to the world and bolster a lifelong motivation for playful learning. To be creative and playful throughout life is a fundamental part of being human, it’s essential to participation in meaningful and innovative communities and it’s vital in a changing, globalized world.

The question then becomes how we can create the best conditions for children to become more involved in examining the world that surrounds them and experiment with new possibilities, rather than solving preset tasks and accepting standard answers.

The approach towards playful learning among professionals working with the age group is crucial for meeting this challenge and fulfilling the ambition. Students of these professions must experience excellent teaching which supports experimental and playful learning, so they are ready to create conditions for playful learning in daycare institutions and schools in Denmark, when they graduate.

For this reason, the key target group for Playful Learning are educators working with teacher education and social education at all University Colleges. These educators must trigger a chain reaction to enhance creativity, curiosity and a desire for experimentation among Danish children.

What is going to happen?

To fulfill this ambition the programme focuses on three areas:

Designing development projects

Development of experimental learning designs and learning environments to further playful learning within teacher education and social education is already being undertaken at University Colleges. However, to meet the ambition that all students should encounter exemplary forms of playful learning during their studies requires sharing best practice experiences, as well as developing new competences and approaches, so that the overall effort is strengthened considerably.

Making room for experiments

New learning environments and availability of physical materials and technologies can contribute to disrupting ingrained learning strategies and types of knowledge, allowing new knowledge and innovative ways of working to flourish. The objective of the programme is to establish such environments, called PlayLabs, to create a visually different setting, which can support experimentation with new learning strategies, types of interaction and processes and thus have a significant impact on educational practice.

Developing an extensive knowledge base

To develop a comprehensive knowledge base for Playful Learning, work is undertaken in the autumn of 2018 in collaboration with the LEGO Foundation to ensure funding for a substantial research effort. This effort aims at establishing a strong link between theory and practice through design-based thinking, thus creating more knowledge about the relationship between play and learning.


National Programme Management and Secretary

The national programme management is responsible for providing a national framework, for coordinating the program and for the overall progression and quality of the program.

Programme management and secretary:

+     Head of Programme: Laust Joen Jakobsen,

+     Head of Implementation, Social Education: Mette Lyager,

+     Head of Implementation, Teacher Education: Tobias Heiberg,

+     Head of Research and Professor: Helle Marie Skovbjerg,

+     Administration and Economy: Ulla Baarts,

+     Programme Coordinator and Communication: Mathilde Wistoft,

+     Programme Coordinator and Communication: Ditte Obenhausen Hoff,

+     Programme Coordinator and Communication: Signe Lehmann, (maternity leave)

Local management

The local management groups consists of management representatives, representing teacher education and social education. This group is responsible for initiation, quality and progression of the programme activities locally within the framework of the national criteria and expected deliveries.


A corps of ambassadors will be established at each of the six University Colleges. The corps consists of six educators from the Social Education and the Teacher Education. The ambassadors work in close collaboration with the local management groups, with national programme management and with the national ambassador corps.