Partnering for play

The Real Play Coalition is a global non-profit coalition created in 2018 which includes UNICEF, National Geographic, Arup, IKEA and LEGO Foundation. It has the ambition to create a movement that narrows the play gap for 100 million children by 2030, by making play accessible and inclusive, because it is an essential right for children to thrive now and in the future.

Together we can:

Play is critical to a child’s development and wellbeing. Whether they play alone or with others, it helps them learn, explore and grow.


Sadly, the quality and quantity of playtime and play spaces available to children is increasingly under threat due to factors like rapid urbanization, over pressured lives, crisis and disruptive technology.


The good news is that there are incredible activities around the world that we need to support!


For this reason, the Real Play Coalition was established. With a focus on supporting city authorities, urban designers and planners, as well as private companies and organisations to create more playful spaces, we can nurture happy, creative and resilient children worldwide.

Together we can
Generate evidence and raise awareness about how important play is to children’s well-being and development, and the role that cities can play.
Together we can
Help to embed play-based principles into urban design and planning.
Together we can
Promote the implementation and upscaling of safe play activations in cities globally.
Together we can
Help parents and caregivers to make time to play, and grow the number of play moments in the lives of children across the world.
Founding Partners

Members of the Real Play Coalition

Arup’s mission is in our motto: “We Shape a Better World”. A global firm of designers, engineers, planners, technical specialists and researchers, we work across every aspect of today’s built environment to find innovative and tangible solutions that change people’s lives for the better. Globally, we have over 15,000 employees and operate out of 40 countries, across 92 offices. Arup was founded in 1946 as an employee-owned firm by Sir Ove Arup, a celebrated engineer and philosopher whose philosophy of ‘Total Design’ as a form of social usefulness is still the cornerstone of our practice today. Ove Arup was ahead of his time, discussing the importance of sustainable attitudes and innovative thinking as early as the 1950s – a legacy of which we as a firm remain proud.
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence, saving the lives of millions of children, and advocate for and protect their rights globally. We drive governmental change to policies in the best interests of children.
Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. National Geographic Partners LLC returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.
The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play.
Ingka Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities) is one of 11 different groups of companies that own and operate IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It is the world’s largest home furnishing retailer operating 367 IKEA stores in 30 markets. Ingka Group operates business under the IKEA vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
Our Partners

The Real Play Coalition and its founding partners work with a range of organizations who share our commitment to giving children the time and space to play.

Placemaking X is a global network of leaders who together accelerate placemaking as a way to create healthy, inclusive and beloved communities.
Resilient Cities Network is an urban resilience network that brings together global knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower our members to build safe and equitable cities for all.

Join the play movement

Sign up for email updates to receive our latest research, news and upcoming events delivered right to your inbox.