Reaching more children with Learning through Play
- 2019 result1,860,000children reached
- 2020 result3,229,390children reached
- 2021 result3,513,924children reached2022 target6,000,000children reached
Empowering parents and caregivers
Our program ‘Prescription for Play’ is for U.S.-based healthcare providers who see 18- to 36-month-old patients. The aim is to develop parental and caregiver behavior towards Learning through Play. During routine pediatric visits, families receive a LEGO® DUPLO® brick kit and educational brochure encouraging them to spend time playing with their children. In 2021, we re-launched the program with a clinical research partner and began to proactively promote the program through Federally Qualified Health Centers that serve mostly low-income populations.
We distributed 613,050 kits to care providers in 2021. In 2022, we aim to reach 1.5 million families in the U.S., and expand the program to three additional countries, reaching a further 500,000 families.
Build to Give
For many people around the world, the holiday season is a time for togetherness and laughter, but for a lot of families it can be a challenging period. That’s why for the fifth year running we encouraged fans and families to get creative and give the gift of play to a child in need, simply by making a star out of LEGO® bricks.
For every star shared on social media using the hashtag #BuildToGive or at local events, the LEGO Group donates a LEGO set to a child in need, giving children in hospitals, children’s homes or vulnerable communities globally the chance to play. This year, working with our charity partners, we donated over 1.5 million LEGO sets to children in 29 countries around the world.
Learning about sustainability through play
Through our Build the Change program we aim to give children a voice on the climate challenges that matter to them. We celebrated Earth Day by taking our Build the Change series online. We asked children to share their ideas for building a sustainable future using LEGO® bricks and other creative materials. More than 14,000 children globally participated in the challenge, showing amazing creativity and inspiration.
In October, we launched the first free educator course on Biodiversity and Climate Change, reaching more than 50,000 children in its first two months.
In November, at COP26, the Build the Change team, with the help of employee volunteers, delivered more than 25 workshops to nearly 1,000 children from Glasgow and beyond. Working with partners such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Daydream Believers, children were asked to share their thoughts and ideas on circular economy and climate change solutions.
Partnering with Save the Children in China
We made progress bringing Learning through Play to children in Yunnan Province in China as part of a three-year, US$2.3 million partnership with Save the Children.
We believe in the transformational power of Learning through Play to inspire and develop children, enabling them solve problems creatively, boosting confidence and resilience. So far, we’ve reached over 30,000 children, 1,200 teachers and more than 34,000 parents. We expect to meet our 50,000 target by the end of the partnership in 2022, and will continue to work with Save the Children in China to bring more Learning through Play to children in need.
Play the video to explore the story of Dayao kindergarten, where inspirational headmaster Li Ming and his staff refurbished the site and brought the fun of Learning through Play to the children.
Partnering for play with UNICEF in China
The LEGO Group, LEGO Foundation and UNICEF announced a partnership in May 2021 to help the development of children in the early years of living by bringing Learning through Play to 200 disadvantaged rural communities in China. The three-year partnership will see approximately US$2.5 million invested in providing resources to community-based family support programs. It is expected that this partnership will directly benefit 20,000 children aged 0 to 6 years and around 40,000 caregivers through access to quality community-based family support services and use of age-appropriate play materials.
The program was successfully kicked off with UNICEF’s national governmental counterpart and started implementation in 10 provinces. The LEGO Foundation hosted a Learning through Play online training, with the participation of 446 experts and practitioners.
Building Instructions for a Better World
Products and marketing free of gender bias and stereotypes
We are committed to making LEGO® play more inclusive and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions – both now and in the future – are not limited by gender stereotypes.
In 2021, we commissioned a global survey of almost 7,000 parents and children aged 6 to 14 to assess whether creativity is seen as gendered for parents and their kids. Carried out by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the research highlighted a clear need for society to rebuild perceptions, actions and words to support the creative empowerment of all children.
Based on these findings, we partnered with the Geena Davies Institute on Gender in Media who audits and consults on select LEGO product and marketing assets.
Respecting and supporting children’s rightsThe first company in the toy industry to do so, in 2013 we signed the 10 Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, Save the Children and UN Global Compact. With these Principles we commit to protecting children’s rights and fostering their wellbeing across everything we do in the workplace, marketplace and our communities. Through our partnership with UNICEF, we work to implement and advocate for the Principles, which continue to inform our work on areas such as digital and physical child safeguarding, responsible marketing and advertisement practices.
Promoting diversity and inclusivity in products, entertainment and marketing
As part of our long-standing partnership, UNICEF and the LEGO Group collaborated in 2021 to understand the different types of stereotyping in advertising, products and entertainment that can have a harmful impact on a child’s wellbeing and development. We explored how to avoid these harmful stereotypes across gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, disability and family structures. We also looked at how organizations become truly transformative in promoting equal outcomes for all. As a result, we launched an internal LEGO® D&I Playbook (a series of creative instructions) that will inform our communication and product development going forward.
We also collaborated with UNICEF to create the ‘Promoting diversity and inclusion in advertising: a UNICEF playbook,’ which serves as a tool for businesses to develop guidelines and strategies to ensure diversity and inclusion in their creative content and products for children.
We’re serious about safe play
New Build & Talk adventuresIn 2021, we expanded our range of Build & Talk activity packs to help parents start a conversation about online privacy and safe sharing, screen time and false information online. The interactive stories encourage children to build an imaginary character using LEGO® bricks. Parents then use simple talking points to educate children about digital safety and wellbeing, such as what makes a good password and what’s safe to share online.
Doom the GloomWe have launched Doom the Gloom, a mix of mini-games and interactive videos that provide children with the opportunity to playfully explore and learn more about safety and wellbeing in the digital world. We also launched a host of other tools to help parents and families become digitally smarter, developed in collaboration with the DQ Institute, a world-leading think tank on digital citizenship and child online safety.
Play Day in a Box
Around the world, LEGO® colleagues play an important role in bringing Learning through Play to their communities, workplaces and homes. In turn, this delivers on our vision to become a global force for Learning through Play. Each year, we celebrate the power of play by inviting all colleagues to play for a day.
After a successful Virtual Play Week in 2020, we launched Play Day in a Box in 2021. This format supports both in-person and online events to respect local COVID-19 conditions. Employees received a box containing a variety of LEGO elements, as well as activity cards to inspire fun and playful experiences with colleagues, family and friends.
Employees as a force for Learning through Play
Promoting inclusive play
Expanding LEGO® Braille BricksIn 2019, together with the LEGO Foundation, we announced a pilot project with LEGO® Braille Bricks – a Learning through Play-based concept to teach braille to children with visual impairment. The first LEGO Braille Bricks were launched in 2020. In 2021, we extended the availability of the LEGO Braille Bricks in partnership with local sight loss organizations, and LEGO Braille Bricks can now be found in 11 languages and 20 countries.
The first LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions were released in 2019, and in 2021, 19 new instructions were released, bringing the total number available to 45.
The Brick-by-Brick program
The Brick-by-Brick™ program is a partnership between the LEGO Foundation and Play Included™ C.I.C., a UK-based social enterprise using a Learning through Play LEGO® brick-based methodology for therapeutic purposes.
The program gives neurodivergent children playful learning opportunities to build social communication skills and develop friendships in a fun and safe environment. The program was launched in April 2021 and is currently available in 40 countries.