Playful Learning

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Playful Learning

Oslo - (with offices also in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden), NorvègeOslo - (with offices also in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden), Norvège
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

"Playful TL-learning"
By introducing the concept of playful learning TL wants to change all the teachers mindset, preparing them for spending more of their teaching time being active together with the kids. By developing manuals with over hundreds of games tailor made for the different subjects, giving courses to teachers and by inspiring the principals of the schools, TL aims to provide the schools with fun tools in order to increase the activitiy level and learning outcome of the classes.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if kids being active while learning would be just as normal as having them sit by their desks?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends children to have 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Among nine year olds in Norway about 70% of girls and 86% of boys get this. Among 15 year olds, only 43% of girls and 58% of boys. We become less physically active with age. And at the same time, WHO argues that physical inactivity is about to be the future major health problem. In addition to reduced quality of life this will cause enormous health costs for society. Increasing levels of inactivity among both children and adults caused by the emergence of a "sedentary culture".

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Having started out with focusing on increasing the activity level during recess, TL is now taking one more step in introducing the concept of "playful learning" to the teachers at its more than 1000 member schools in Scandinavia. Playful learning means that playing and learning are not incompatible. On the contrary many studies confirm that we memorize and learn better during modest activity. TL works to make all the schools understand that "kids must be active to learn and learn to be active". By introducing the concept of playful learning TL wants to change all the teachers mindset, preparing them for spending more of their teaching time being active together with the kids. In this project the kids will take a bigger role in being responsible for their own learning and to some respect, also for other kids´ learning - and this will foster both creativity and empathy as well as basic teamwork skills, all of which are necessary for the growth of changemaking qualities.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

By using student leaders to model, facilitate, and encourage empathy, TL has jumpstarted the transformation of Scandinavian schools. 97% of TL staff note increased physical activity at recess; 69% feel that student conflict has decreased; and 90% feel that the program is highly effective. Beyond TL staff, as well, administrators, teachers, and even governments have been captivated by the program’s success. Since its founding in 2009, TL has grown to include more than 1000 schools in Scandinavia with inquiries coming from the UK and the Netherlands. As the program makes plans to expand into other countries, it also hopes to incorporate younger students and multicultural activities, to continue building its empathic network of changemakers, both students and schools.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

TL aims to be the biggest school program in Europe working on increasing the activity level during recess as well as during lessons, thus contributing to more active children, less conflicts and bullying, more empathy and teamwork skills.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

TL employs a fee-for-service model with three-year contracts and annual dues. In order to maintain a low fee, TL uses a school network model that links schools in the same geographic area to ensure the systematic and cost-effective scaling of the model. By integrating meetings of schools closely located together, TL’s scaling lowers costs for schools while promoting a domino effect of participation.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no similar organization in Norway. 10 people work fulltime to follow up with the schools / courses / meetings and more. Not dependent on support from the state, more flexible organization towards changes and customizations. TL is a program that lasts

Founding Story

Having teachers for parents and bullies in school, Eide’s interest in human relationships and investment in the education system began at an early age. As a young adult, Eide worked as an athletic instructor for a non-profit expanding access to exercise and began to wonder whether there was a link between his background in physical activity promotion and bullying reduction. Deciding to take action, Eide created an anti-bullying lecture program, giving lectures to parents and DVDs for students, teachers, and schools. Having giving these lectures to more than 240 000 pupils across Norway, Eide also realized the potential of physical activity to simultaneously reduce conflicts and contributing to reducing bullying and promote healthy lifestyles. Introducing the concept of playful learning is now a natural step forward in his comitment to further improving the learning environment at schools all over Scandinavia.


The TL team consists of 17 full time employees, many of them being former PE teachers with many years of experience from schools, others being former web designers and people with long experience in administration.
About You
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Organization Country

, Oslo - (with offices also in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden)

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Oslo - (with offices also in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden)

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?



The TL program is also in the portfolio of Ferd Social Entrepeneurs. Ferd Social Entrepeneurs shows that investments in social entrepeneurship are excellent value creation and they support social entrepeneurs in Norway.
The TL program is a project within TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit´s Foundation
Kjartan Eide got an Ashoka Fellow in September 2013.

Primary Target Age Group

6 - 12, 13 - 17.

Your role in Education

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a school(s), I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Public (tuition-free), Private (tuition-based).

Intervention Focus

Products or Services.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Actively Designing Space & Culture as Essential Elements for Learning: Creating cost-effective methods to infuse a school with habits, language, and materials needed for learning through play.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.


We would appreciate more concrete games that can be used during lessons, f example fun and active ways of teaching


Maybe the same as the need above - more games that can lead to fun and active learning.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

- more acitivity among kids while learning
- more teamwork while learning
- more empathy
- fostering more creativity through problem solving sessions while learning
- more children being in charge of their own learning, and further, also being responsible for other kids` learning
- active learning as an alternative way or methodology of teaching, thus opening up for other ways to learn the same curriculum.

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

a) Developing a game manual on all subjects, called "Active TL-lessons". Giving courses for school staff on how to integrate play and learning. b)Schoolyard c) As often as possible d)One school hour e)TL training the teachers f)involving more "pilot schools" from our pool of 1000 member schools

INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

We´re leaving the knowledge society and entering the creative / learning society. Play has become a mindset or an approach. Gamebased learning increases in popularity. Museums provide some of the best examples—particularly children’s museums and science museums. Children want to be involved, engaged. The traditional stigma to play is loosing ground. More people see and experience that play and learning are not incompatible. Tourism is another field where supplieres have to involve, engage people to succeed. In almost all fields, people are not willing to be pure recipients of information anymore.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

Guided play is fun, it fosters creativity and problem-solving skills. Play connects, teaches teamwork, empathy - important leadership skills for the future. Research ´s showing that kids learn best when active, when engaged. Academic and social development are inextricably interwined. Learning and play go hand in hand, learning takes place best when children are engaged and enjoying themselves. In addition to having a value on its own (which TLs recess program is all about), active play foster positive relationships and provides a unique methodoly of learning.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

TL´s main source of income derives from the individual member schools paying a yearly license fee (90 percent). In addition we have received funding from Ferd Social Entrepeneurs and The Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Foundation.

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

We´re a for profit organisation, but we´re defined as a social entrepeneur and are having an agreement with our fundig partners that we reinvest any surplus in our organisation and further projects.

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

The money would be spent on further developing our game manual covering all the subjects in school, being able to distribute it to all our member schools in Scandinavia as well as developing courses for our more than 30 000 teachers to further involve them in playful learning.

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

We cooperate with Ferd Social Entrepeneurs (FSE). They have given us both financial support, network and are also a board member. The Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Foundation chose TL this Spring as one of their main partners in developing our program in secondary school (age group 13-16). Their media experience and communication skills will highlight the need in Norwegian media to emphasise both recess activities and playful learning.

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.

I participated in Billund as one of the Idea lab presenters, and unfortunately I have not had the time to involve in other pacesetters yet. But planning to involve more, and the facebook group as well as the internet site are very good initiatives.

VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

The activity program TL would be present in all European schools - with great effects on increasing friendship, fostering values like inclusiveness, friendliness, respect and empathy. Conflicts and bullying would have dropped drastically. Our project on playful learning (Active TL lessons) would be used in minimum 20 percent of ALL lessons to cover the
obligatory curriculum. Kids would long time ago have understood the need to be active to learn, and learned to be active!

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

I would use questback (which we already use for measuring other impacts) to survey schools results before and after using our concept "Active TL-lessons". As well as asking questions to the pupils directly on how playful learning affects the learning environment itself. The design needs to be elaborated first. I have attached a summary of other impacts of our recess program.

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

Not Applicable - yet! (we are at the idea stage or start-up)

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?


Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:


Number of Volunteers:

Fewer than 10

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Physical Play, Play with Objects, Pretence/ Socio-Dramatic Play, Games with Rules, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts).

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.