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LEGO Foundation research looks at play and learning through children's eyes

May 18, 2021

students in library playing with blocks

We know that when children experience play as joyful, actively engaging, meaningful, iterative and socially interactive, their playful experiences are more likely to lead to deeper learning.

FHI 360 consortium partners

A new partnership with the LEGO Foundation will provide teachers with the tools they need to improve learning through play and allow for a direct understanding of children’s perspectives. Called Play and Learning in Children’s Eyes (PALICE), the project works through a consortium led by FHI 360. The consortium will develop and iterate practice-oriented, easy-to-use tools intended for classrooms and early childhood centers around the world for children ages 3-12. To provide guidance on the implementation, FHI 360 has engaged a panel of renowned experts in learning through play and measurement.

This grant was awarded by the LEGO Foundation in March 2021 to FHI Partners, a subsidiary of FHI 360 that harnesses the organization’s decades-long expertise in instrument development and adaptation in global contexts. The project is part of the LEGO Foundation’s Measurement Initiative and adds the child’s voice to the understanding of the quality of learning through play. The tools to be developed will undergo piloting and validation in Bangladesh, Colombia and Uganda.

The work under this grant adds to FHI Partners’ portfolio of examining learning through play, including implementation research on the Playful Parenting Initiative and a rapid review of nurturing care during COVID-19.

About the LEGO Foundation’s Measurement Initiative

The LEGO Foundation’s Measurement Initiative aims to develop tools to measure the impact of learning through play on learning outcomes across age groups 0-12 and in various settings and geographies. The initiative will develop affordable, valid and feasible ways to measure quality learning through play, including learning environments and processes and the presence and characteristics of play that support deeper learning. These tools are expected to generate evidence on how quality learning through play contributes to holistic skills development in children. Longer term outcomes of the five-year initiative include facilitating the uptake of these tools by governments and their systems and the measurement of the achievement of holistic skills. For more information on learning through play and holistic skills development, see the LEGO Foundation’s online knowledge base.

About FHI Partners

FHI Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of FHI 360 that uses an agile, client-centered approach to leverage the technical expertise and global platform of FHI 360 to create customized solutions for corporations and foundations seeking to accelerate their social impact. Learn more at or follow on Twitter @fhipartners.

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