About us

Playground Ideas is a non-profit organization that supports anyone, anywhere to build a stimulating space for play using only local materials, tools, and skills.

Our Model



Playground DIY projects are the core of our work. We were founded with a goal to provide free designs, how-to handbooks, and online support to empower communities around the world to build beautiful spaces for their children to play using only resources they can easily find locally.

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Custom design & on-site support

For larger projects, the Playground Ideas team can be contracted for custom design and on-site support. We’ve provided design schemes, team training, and build facilitation for projects all over the world. If you have a budget over $5,000 and are building 1-1000 playgrounds let’s build something amazing together.

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Global Play Alliance

Expanding global access to play requires a coalition of play advocates. The Global Play Alliance is focused on creating play opportunities in communities where these resources do not exist or are in short supply. An international network of play champions on every continent, made up of playground builders, designers, parents and playwork trainers.

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Our Team

Marcus Veerman

Marcus Veerman
Founder & CEO

His superpower: He’s the dreamer and schemer – always coming up with new, crazy big ideas for the future of Playground Ideas.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The ‘Playground Builder’s Handbook’ – I wrote this how-to handbook based on everything I learned building 40 playgrounds along the Thai/Burma border.

Matt Green

Matt Green
Designer & Implementer

His superpower: He likes to complete tasks and make them look as beautiful as they can whilst doing it, he is a designer after all.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The ‘website’ in full. I’ve spent a lot of time working with Marcus and our talented developers to design the Playground Ideas website and continue to improve it all the time.

Laurette Hargreaves

Laurette Heargraves
Marketer & Business Creator

Her superpower: Having worked in corporate marketing and not for profit, as well as 5 years in the toy industry, Laurette has a great work play balance which puts her in great stead to lead the charge with Nüdel Kart.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The Nüdel Kart of course. Check out our latest creation here…

Cat Sewell

Cat Sewell
Social Engagement & Special Projects

Her superpower: The child whisperer! Cat is a Play Specialist working with schools, kindergartens and playgroups.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The ‘Case for Play’ report. Wanna know why play can change the world? Read this.

Our Board

Richard Feder

Richard Feder
Board Member

His superpower: As a strategy consultant in the social sector, Richie gets to help organizations be stronger, more sustainable and ask the right questions to help make good decisions.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The 3D designer is incredible – a chance to use your imagination and be a kid again yourself, thinking about what to play on and how it could all fit together.

Julia (JJ) Jacob

Rachel Schaffer
Board Member

Her superpower: Rachel combines her expertise as a Commercial and IP Lawyer with the understanding that comes from being a mum of 3, to create the most amount of play without breaking the rules!

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The Global Play Alliance – its great to see that there are so many organisations around the world who are enabled to work together, to help children develop through play.

Scott Woodward
Board Member

His superpower: Having studied both Fine Art and Architecture Scott has a strong sense of design and community engagement having worked with numerous community groups to help realise their projects.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The Nüdel Kart – A portable playground that can be accessible anytime, anywhere and by everyone. It allows children the opportunity to play in the areas where it is needed most.

Lauren Schotting
Board Member

Her superpower: As a Global Treasury Manager, Lauren has extensive knowledge of all things banking and foreign currency. She loves the challenge that international transactions bring.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The idea of being able to Find a Local Builder in your country where you may have limited resources is so easy to follow and makes the idea of DIY achievable, anywhere.

We-Ki Chua
Board Member

His superpower: We-Ki began his professional life as a renewable energy engineer but now spends most days leading business transformation programs by bringing people together to solve problems.

Favourite Playground Ideas Resource: The Loose Parts Manual, I love how we can enable kids to reimagine and repurpose everyday “common” things that are easily and cheaply accessible, and there’s a lot we can learn at the same time!

TEDx Melbourne 2015

Marcus Veerman, CEO & Founder of Playground Ideas shares revolutionary ideas to address global poverty through the power of play.

Our Story

From Marcus Veerman, CEO

In 2007, I was living in Thailand when a local NGO asked if I would help them build a playground. Throwing together a design and a crew of volunteers, we set to work, and before we had finished that first playground, the headmaster of a neighbouring school asked if we could help them do the same. And so it began. Requests began pouring in, and over the next two years a rag-tag gang of volunteers, artists, builders and makers built 40 playgrounds along the Thai-Burma border. I started posting photos of our work online, which led to my inbox being flooded with emails asking for playground building assistance from other parts of Thailand, and then from around the world. That’s when everything changed. Read the full story on Medium.com.

Our funding

A small group of private philanthropists cover our administrative expenses so that your money can go directly to the Playground Ideas cause. This means when you donate to us, 100% of the donation goes towards expanding global access to play. Our work is funded by generous individual donors as well as corporate playground sponsors, who leverage their work in the play industry to make an impact globally.


In-kind support

We are extremely grateful to the following companies and individuals who generously provide their services to help us reach our goals:





The Web / App Specialists of Melbourne & Perth

Itomic have generously provided Playground Ideas with awesome free web hosting, support and consultancy. We highly recommend them for all your web hosting, web / app design and development needs.


for playground companies


for philanthropic grants