The LEGO Foundation Hosted Sessions

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. When children learn through play, they do so in a hands-on, minds-on way. They explore the world around them and discover how it works. Often this is with some kind of object in hand, or some kind of tool they can use to dissect, explore, and create. And since all tools – whether natural, traditional, electronic, or digital – are types of technology, we should consider the role that all of these technologies play in supporting learning through play. Digital play can foster imagination, creative thinking, problem solving, persistence, resilience and inquisitiveness, which are all skills needed to navigate an uncertain and complex world.

The LEGO Foundation Resources: 

Children, Technology and Play

Characteristics of playful experiences that lead to deeper learning

30 years of collaboration towards empowering children to be creative thinkers


Accordion Content

In this session, the LEGO Foundation presenters created stories using stop motion animation! Attendees learned how to make a narrative-driven animation using everyday materials while hearing about making and tinkering experiences around the world. To prepare, attendees downloaded this app (, it’s free!) and gathered toys, everyday household objects, colorful paper, drawing pens, and your mobile phone to create a stop motion movie. Presenters also shared projects made during the session and hear reflections from the team on the importance of tinkering as an approach to STEAM and creative learning.


  • Chris Rogers, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University
  • Dipeshwor Man Shrestha, Doctoral Student in Education, Tufts University
  • Sara Willner-Giwerc, Doctoral Student in Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University
  • Deanne Gelosi, Museum Educator, Exploratorium
  • Sebastian Martin, Tinkering Specialist, Exploratorium

Recently, due to the global pandemic, many formal and informal educators have had to reimagine their activities to support children around the world online. As educators and families make this shift, the LEGO Foundation presenters collaborated with our global partners to design active and engaging learning experiences for online environments that deepen and broaden access to creative learning.  In this talk, the presenters shared some examples of stories from around the world that highlight their playful approach to bringing creative learning to all. The presenters started by sharing our design principles of projects, peers, passions, and play. They then described three examples of our work including:
  1. Designing and facilitating a global online course, where thousands of people engage together to imagine, create, and share ideas around playful learning as well as to collaboratively build projects in Scratch; 
  2. Collaborating with colleagues at LEGO and the Ministry of Education in Mexico to leverage television as a vehicle to share ideas around creative learning with a wide audience at home;
  3. Lastly, their collaboration with colleagues in South Africa to seed systemic change by providing opportunities for pre-service educators to engage with creative learning first-hand through coding clubs.  The discussion concluded by highlighting the resources and initiatives we have available for educational leaders to bring creative learning to their geographies
  • Carolina Rodeghiero, Education Organizer, Brazilian Creative Learning Network, Researcher, Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab  
  • Leo Burd, Creative Learning Program Director, MIT Media Lab
  • Rupal Jain, Learning Partnerships Manager, Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab

The Playful Learning Lab is currently in a multi-year residency at the Minnesota Children’s Museum working on playful family interactions, and a partnership with Metro Deaf School and the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf developing art and technology programming for Deaf children. Playful Learning Lab has a line of different projects that are carried out by a team of undergraduate research students, affiliated educators, and community partners.


  • AnnMarie Thomas, Director, Playful Learning Lab, University of St. Thomas
  • Brent Hutcheson, Director, Care for Education
  • Oliver Bray, Initiatives Lead, Global Programs, The LEGO Foundation