PlayPallets – Building Play Into the Lives of Refugees

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In the words of Mr Rogers, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Some people root for the underdog, I prefer to root for the do-gooder. There are plenty of them out there. All you have to do is look for them, read about them, be inspired by them. So when I read about leading progressive business media brand Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards I was intrigued.

Award recipients represent groundbreaking social impact companies, products, policies, designs and ideas. I was especially intrigued by one of the award finalists, PlayPallets. Judges sifted through hundreds of entries to select products and ideas that represent “the best combination of creative problem solving and potential to change our world for the better.”

PlayPallets – World Changing Ideas Award Finalist

World Changing Ideas Developing World Technology Finalist, PlayPallets, is an organization that believes access to sports equipment is a fundamental right that every kid in the world deserves, no matter what. In a nutshell, a PlayPallet is a traditional and functional wood pallet that can be used for shipping with the gift of play hidden inside.

Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards
Photo – Fast Company

Not So Temporary

Currently, there are over sixty-million refugees in the world. 51% of those refugees are children. Unfortunately what is meant as a temporary living solution often becomes more permanent. While aid to these refugee camps understandably is focused on survival, PlayPallet insists “we have to expand our idea of what survival means over longer period of time.”

It’s a simple yet brilliant way to ship much needed aid with the caveat of “providing a bit of joy and normalcy to kids who really need it.” All this without compromising the valuable and limited space in aid cargo shipments.

Or, to quote PlayPallet directly, “We believe in the healing power of sports, the sense of normalcy that reliable play equipment can provide, and the importance that kids everywhere get the chance to be kids.”

PlayPallets Basketball Hoop
Photo PlayPallets

PlayPallets are a Rugged Solution

Play Pallets are made out of heat-treated southern yellow pine. Measuring 48” x 40”, standard shipping pallet dimensions, each pallet has 2-way forklift slots and can carry the same weight as standard pallets. Currently the company offers a basketball hoop setup (two complete basketball hoops, including rims, balls, and extra building supplies with deflated basketball) and soccer goals (two sturdy, portable, and consistent goals, plus nets boundary markers, and hardware). They also offer a skate box setup with four skateboards included and are currently developing a field hockey and a table tennis design.

For more information, inquiries on how you can help, or to order PlayPallets shoot them an email

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