our mission

We are helping to build a community — including parents, educators, caregivers, researchers, and leaders — united by a belief in the importance of creative free play to help our children grow up happy and healthy.

about the designer

Imagination Playground was conceived and designed by award-winning architect David Rockwell, who was inspired by watching his own children play. The work of his firm, Rockwell Group, has been internationally recognized for its broad array of projects, from restaurants to stage sets, hotels to historic restorations, art programming to interactive design. For more information about David Rockwell, visit www.rockwellgroup.com

a blueprint for a new playground

In an age of childhood obesity and children tethered to electronic consoles, playgrounds have rarely been more important. In an age of constrained government budgets, playgrounds have rarely been a harder sell. Fortunately, the cost of play doesn’t have to be prohibitive.

In creating the Imagination Playground — a playground with lots of loose parts for children to create their own play spaces — Rockwell realized that many of the elements with the greatest value to children were inexpensive and portable. Although traditional playgrounds can easily cost in the millions to build, portable imagination playgrounds can be put together for less than $6,000.

See David Rockwell's full New York Times Op-Ed, "Blueprint for a New Playground" Download PDF>

our partners


KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,100 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country.

KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

 KaBOOM! Grants:


head start body start

Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) is a collaboration between the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and is funded by a grant from the Administration for Children and Families.

Imagination Playground has been selected as one of 28 play space-related resources for inclusion in its 2011 HSBS Preferred Vendor Catalog.

association of children’s museums

Children’s museums are places where children learn through play and exploration in environments designed just for them. The Association of Children’s Museums provides leadership, professional development and resources for its member organizations and individuals. 

new york city department of parks and recreation

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation operates more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 48 recreational facilities, and 17 nature centers. It is New York City’s principal provider of recreational and athletic facilities and programs; and is home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

play direct uk.com

Play Direct UK.com offers outdoor learning and school grounds equipment to make playtime more active, challenging and above all fun.

alliance for childhood

The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living. At present the Alliance is working to restore play to all children, both in school and out-of-school. 

children’s environments research group (cerg)

The Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG), links university scholarship with the development of policies, environments and programs to fulfill children’s’ rights and improve the quality of their lives.

new york coalition for play

The New York Coalition for Play is a partnership of organizations and individuals committed to improving opportunities for freely chosen, unstructured, and child-directed play in the New York metropolitan area. NYCPlay works to preserve and enhance the birthright of all children to have time and space for play through the activities of its partners and programs. 


Videatives implements its mission to make children’s thinking visible through the use of text with supporting short video clips that can be downloaded or streamed from the internet.


watch: "a drive to candyland"

Watch how Imagination Playground unleashes the creativity inside every child.

watch: imagination playground at the aspen ideas festival

Featuring Sir Ken Robinson, David Rockwell,Walter Isaacson, author Kevin Carroll, and others.

read: "state of play" by rebecca mead

download PDF>














special thank you to KaBOOM! 

I want to thank Darell Hammond for supporting Imagination Playground since it was little more than a dream. Kaboom’s ambition to see a play space within walking distance of every child in America inspired our ambition to bring Imagination Playground to as many children as possible. KaBOOM’s involvement and early advocacy of the play system has accelerated its development and coast to coast deployment.

In advocating the critical importance play, KaBOOM has elevated the national discussion around the subject.  Their leadership in bringing play opportunities to children starved of play environments is resulting in healthier, happier and smarter children. And nothing could be more important for our future.

visit KaBOOM's website >