Real Play City Challenge

Real Play City

Play is essential for children to thrive now and in the future, but many urban environments lack opportunities or a city-wide strategy for play. That’s why the Real Play City Challenge aims to reclaim places to play in cities for children.

We want to support, promote and share initiatives that have potential to:

  • Inspire more cities, placemakers, urban planners, real-estate developers and other stakeholders to take action in safe,  child-friendly and playful urban practice.
  • Optimise, integrate and disseminate international knowledge and experience to strengthen safe,  child-friendly and playful urban practice.
  • Enhance impact by catalysing, replicating and scaling child-friendly, safe and playful initiatives in different contexts around the globe.

Using our frameworks we invite urban planners, placemakers, city decision-makers and architects to join our challenge and become one of the winners selected to attend our masterclass and scale up their ideas.

Find out more about the contest and frameworks that inspire the Real Play City Challenge:

finger painting

Finger painting

This tactile activity has many benefits for children of all ages! Younger kids will develop fine motor skills, colour recognition and see how mixing colours creates different results. Older kids can focus more on creative detail and developing their artistic techniques.

Communication house LEGO activities

Communication house

In this activity, kids will learn to use their descriptive skills to help others build a structure. This activity is great for developing social skills and learning to work collaboratively!


How to Beatbox

Anyone can learn to beatbox with a little practice and a little patience! Beatboxing will teach your child about sounds and rhythm. It will also teach them a lot about the drums they will be imitating with their voice. Beatboxing is a great way to occupy your child’s mind, and mouth, while doing other things –– and it can be learnt anytime and anywhere!

Household orchestra

Household orchestra

Kids love making noise! Give them some time with no noise limits to explore the possibilities of different sounds. This activity will get kids thinking about how sound and music are made, as well as what makes the best, or loudest, sounds.

how to draw a family tree

Draw a family tree

This activity teaches kids about their ancestry as they plot their family tree. It’s a great opportunity for kids to spend time with an older relative as they research their family history. This activity encourages creativity and teaches kids that families come in all different shapes and sizes. Who knows, you might discover something new, too!

kim's game

Kim’s Game

This classic kids’ challenge tests your kids observational skills as they memorise a group of items and then try to spot the one that’s been removed. Kids will be surprised to learn that this game is used in real-life military training –– the challenge is on!

Make alien eggs

Transform snack time into craft time by making an ordinary egg extraordinarily alien! Kids will love the ‘reveal’ aspect of this craft which engages the imagination and gets them eating healthy protein!

Obstacle Course

Obstacle course

Building an obstacle course outside is a fun way for your child to get creative, active and, well, maybe a bit messy, too! All they need are household items that are light, easy and safe to move around – such as cardboard boxes and cushions. This playtime will feed their imagination, challenge their cognitive skills and get their muscles moving as they climb, run and crawl around the course.

20 Questions

Inquisitive kids will love this guessing game, but they’ll need to tread carefully, as they only get to ask 20 questions! This activity is perfect for warming up the mental muscles and can be played absolutely anywhere.

How To Make Slime Without Glue

How to make slime without glue

There are several great slime recipes that require PVA glue – but that’s not to say it’s an essential ingredient for this super-fun science experiment! Discover how to make slime without glue…all you need is a few simple household ingredients.

Real Play Coalition Reclaiming Play In Cities Report

Reclaiming Play
in Cities Report

At the Real Play Coalition, we truly believe in the power of play. We see a child’s time to play, access to play facilitation, environment for play and the broader supportive ecosystem that support play as a critical resource for children and their skills development. The Reclaiming Play in Cities Reportlaunched at the 10th World Urban Forum, reviews the evidence around learning through play and the impact that city and urban environments have on children’s access to play and ultimately, their overall development.

This also unveils a first-of-its-kind Urban Play Framework. This framework provides a method to understand how various urban systems impact a child’s learning through play experience, ultimately influencing their skills development and ability to thrive and reach their full potential.

You can download the Reclaiming Play in Cities Report by clicking the button, below:

Real Play Coalition Partners Arup logo 11


Arup’s mission is in our motto: “We Shape a Better World”. A global firm of designers, engineers, planners, technical specialists and researchers, we work across every aspect of today’s built environment to find innovative and tangible solutions that change people’s lives for the better. Globally, we have over 15,000 employees and operate out of 40 countries, across 92 offices. Arup was founded in 1946 as an employee-owned firm by Sir Ove Arup, a celebrated engineer and philosopher whose philosophy of ‘Total Design’ as a form of social usefulness is still the cornerstone of our practice today. Ove Arup was ahead of his time, discussing the importance of sustainable attitudes and innovative thinking as early as the 1950s – a legacy of which we as a firm remain proud.


UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence, saving the lives of millions of children, and advocate for and protect their rights globally. We drive governmental change to policies in the best interests of children.

War Card Game

“War!” card game

This two-player game sees players go head-to-head in a battle to win the deck. With simple, easy-to-follow rules, it proves popular with kids of all ages – and can be played anytime, anywhere!


Clay animations

This activity combines imagination, creativity and science. Children will have to put their art skills and precision to the test as they build models, take photographs and bring their stories to life!

Hot Potato

Hot potato

This classic game is perfect for kids parties or some family fun on a rainy day. Youngsters are sure to have lots of giggles as they pass around the ‘hot potato’ and race against the music!

Paper Towers

Paper Towers

This exciting science game for kids sees players compete to make the tallest tower out of paper. If they are to claim victory, they’ll need to think strategically, creatively and resourcefully. This game can also be a fun way to help kids build social skills and teamwork skills.


British bulldog

This exciting outdoor game provides kids with plenty of exercise as they put their speed and agility to the test. What’s more, they’ll build valuable social skills and burn off energy!


Doughnut dangle

This game is guaranteed to provide super-sweet fun at a kids’ Halloween party! Players will enjoy lots of giggles as they try to sink their teeth into a tasty treat!


Chinese whispers

This all-time-favourite game is a fun way for kids to practise speaking and listening. They’ll also enjoy coming up with creative phrases – and discovering what can happen when messages are passed from person to person!


Arithmetic race

This maths game for kids sees two teams go head to head in a race to the finish! Players will have heaps of fun as they put their mental arithmetic skills to the test.

Pass The Imaginary Object

Pass the imaginary object

This activity allows children to explore their imagination and develop their vocabulary. A quick and fun game that can be played anywhere, it also helps to build teamwork skills and confidence.



Yoga is a great exercise for children, helping them to relax, focus, build confidence, develop core strength and flexibility, and improve posture. What’s more, it’s simple, fun and free!



Paper Mache Models

Paper mache models

Kids of all ages love to make things that they can keep. Paper mache offers plenty of opportunity to get creative… and a bit messy!

Puddle Splashing

Puddle splashing!

Most children can’t resist splashing in puddles. The joy of jumping, the splashing water and…well, simply getting a bit messy! What’s not to love?!

Make A Cosy Den

Make a cosy den

Den building is a fun, exciting activity for children, sparking their imagination and helping them to develop teamwork and problem-solving skills. They’ll also love their new ‘secret spot’ where they can hide out and play!

What happens next

What happens next…? The story game!

This game is a great way for kids to explore their imagination, as well as develop listening skills, social skills and confidence. What’s more, there’s no equipment required – and it can be played anytime and anywhere!

Imagine Your Bed Is

Imagine your bed is…

Children have boundless imaginations and can make a game out of almost anything! Why not try this activity on a rainy day?

Make Sandcastles

Make Sandcastles

Whether you’re spending a day at the beach or an hour at the sand table, building sandcastles is a fun sensory activity that will have everyone joining in! It can also be a great way to inspire teamwork and creativity.