University of Helsinki


The Playful Learning Center is a leader in researching, communicating and enhancing the benefits of playful learning in Finland and globally. It generates research knowledge on play and learning, and offers a place to both learn through creative play and to learn how to play in new and engaging ways.

The Playful Learning Center conducts multi-disciplinary research on play and learning, develops and shares pedagogical models, learning environments and materials which can accelerate children’s holistic learning processes. It is argued that such playful learning experiences can create a strong foundation for children’s future learning journeys at school and beyond for personal wellbeing, citizenship, working life and adulthood.

The Playful Learning Center is about:

  • Generating cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary research knowledge on play and learning in childhood
  • Enhancing young children’s learning through play via co-designed educational experiences that inspire imagination and ignite every child’s love of learning.
  • A network of academic scholars, early childhood education and care centres, schools, libraries, museums and science centers as well as entrepreneurs across Finland who are helping to pioneer innovation in the early years and translate research into practice.
  • A purpose-built facility that operates as an international hub for multidisciplinary research, tackling issues around children’s holistic learning and development and social inclusion.
  • Offers early childhood education courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as professional development of early years educators.

PLC conducts research, develops, communicates and provides valuable learning experiences for young children and adults through play-based learning. Activities are designed to allow children to take control and share their imagination and creativity with others. Distinctive features of the educational activities researched and offered at PLC include;

  • Encouraging engagement, social interaction, imagination, creativity and joy of learning
  • Nourishing the connection between play and learning and children’s holistic development and wellbeing
  • Aligning with the Finnish early childhood and primary school curricula with a specific focus on multiliteracy, science, technology, mathematics, arts and engineering, as well as creativity
  • Using materials and tools that are aesthetically appealing, involve seamless integration of technology to enhance the learning experience, and encourage children to use their imagination to create artefacts and solutions that build on but also go beyond their earlier knowledge and experiences.
  • Extending playful learning in the home, communities and in children’s everyday life.

3 months ago

Playful Learning Center Helsinki

Next week (Nov 20, 2018) we will host a Multiliteracies Seminar here in Helsinki and launch our new book targeted for educational practitioners and developers:

Kurittomat palaset: Monilukutaitoa Opitaan Ilolla
Bångstyriga Bitar: Inlärning av multilitteracitet med glädje
Playful Parts: The Joy of Learning Multiliteracies

Do join us!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Have you heard of Maker Literacies? Join us to learn more!

Professor Anne Burke from Memorial University Canada will give a talk on:

"Tinkering for Sustainability: Young Children's Explorations in Maker Literacies"

September 19, 2018 from 15:00 to 17:00, at Siltavuorenpenger 5A, (Minerva building, room K108).


This presentation recounts a study focused on maker literacies designed through socially imaginative makerspace learning opportunities in a Canadian Early Learning Classroom. Young children ages 4-8 explored how creative sustainability play-based approaches, drawing from engineering, ecology, maker literacies and entrepreneurship, could develop collaborative solutions for open ended environmental problems. This project looked at new knowledge and systems around sustainability through the eyes of children within Simon Nicholson's theoretical framework of 'Loose Parts' with environmental children's literature, makerspace tools, and environmental ethics to help children address global warming and the conservation of global oceans and animals. The study spanned a two-year period, engaging the digital literacies of young children. Pre-service teachers played a pivotal role in this project, playmaking with young children through a hands-on investigation in sustainability and global citizenship. Preservice teacher responses to the project showed how they realized that creativity of children can be idealized through materiality, and regenerated into a digital multimodal creation when time and space was given for tinkering. The project encouraged the flourishing of a literacy of possibilities for student teachers and observed play-based civic engagement and agency. Importantly, this study realizes an opportunity for additional study, as sociocultural frameworks around maker literacies and creativity in community spaces can be shared to extend learning beyond the classroom setting.

Bio for Anne Burke
Anne Burke is a Professor in Literacy Education and Early Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She researches and writes about children's literacy engagements through the evolving role of technology, digital and immersive worlds, multimodality, materiality, and play-based classroom pedagogies. Her current research investigates the role of maker spaces in early learning and the possibilities they offer for civic engagements, as well as forms and cultural representations of how making may be conceptualized through STEM and artistic approaches. Book titles include Invitations for Play: Using Play to Build Literacy Skills in Young Learners (Pembroke Stenhouse US 2019) Challenges Stories: Teachers working for Social Justice in Canadian Classrooms (Canadian Scholar's Press, 2017) Children's Play Worlds: Culture, Learning and Participation with Jackie Marsh (Peter Lang New York) Play to Learn (Pembroke Stenhouse US), Assessing New Literacies: Perspectives from the Classroom with Roberta Hammett (Peter Lang New York).
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 months ago

Playful Learning Center Helsinki

Monilukutaitoa Opitaan Ilolla (MOI) - kehittämisohjelma kutsuu pienten lasten opettajia ja kasvattajia valtakunnalliseen seminaariin tiistaina 20. marraskuuta. Varaa päivä kalenteriisi jo nyt ja seuraa päivityksiä tapahtumasta Facebookissa

Paikka: Agroksenmäen holvikellari, Helsinki
Aika: Ti 20.11.2018 klo 13-18
Ohjelma: Iloisia alustuksia ja työpajoja


Utvecklingsprogrammet Inlärning av multilitteracitet med glädje (MOI) bjuder in till ett nationellt seminarium om små barns multilitteracitet tisdagen 20.11.2018. Boka dagen redan nu och följ oss på Facebook för mer information och uppdateringar

Plats: Agroksenmäen holvikellari, Helsingfors
Tid: Ti 20.11.2018 kl. 13-18
Program: Glädjefyllda presentationer och workshops


‘The Joy of Learning Multiliteracies’ research and development programme invites you to a seminar on young children’s multiliteracies on November 20th. Save the date and follow us on Facebook for updates

Place: Agroksenmäen holvikellari, Helsinki
Time: Tuesday 20.11.2018, 1pm-6pm
Program: Joyful talks and workshops
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook