The brain develops fastest during the first three years of life when the foundation is laid for a child’s lifelong development.  While brain development continues throughout development, evidence shows that a child’s experience in the first 1,000 days of life can have a greater impact on a child’s life trajectory than any other period of life. Between the ages of four and six, children reach a second peak in brain and skill development. Research indicates that during both of these critical phases of early development, which set children on course for the future, play is critical. Play is the way that young children learn and develop necessary skills.

Unfortunately, play is too often underestimated in early childhood programmes despite being the most natural way of acquiring essential life skills in early childhood. The LEGO Foundation’s Learning through Play in Early Childhood programme provides young children with learning through play experiences and works to shift adult attitudes and behaviours around play and learning. In this way, the programme strives to establish play as an accepted and necessary aspect of all children’s lives in the settings in which they spend time: at home, in early childhood centres and in communities.

is the return on investment from high-quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children

Heckman Equation

The programme focuses on establishing and deepening learning through play practice in the three settings in which young children spend a majority of their time:

At Home: We reach parents and caregivers directly with activities and messages that that demonstrate the benefits and value of play and its link to learning in the early years.

In Communities: We work with local community who can provide culturally relevant learning through play experiences in public spaces and community settings, such as parks, children’s museums and libraries.

In early childhood centres: We identify, support and adapt affordable, high-quality learning through play models for early childhood centres that support whole child development.