Play PossibleActivating play as a tool for innovation

An image of a sample of play possible cards and packaging

A deck of cards that encourages play, fosters creativity and inspires innovation.

Play trains us for the unexpected. Those who are most flexible with their ideas, beliefs, and ways of seeing the world will be the ones who are most comfortable in a world that constantly changes.


A recent winner of IDSA’s Silver IDEA Award for Social Impact

Play Possible was born from a desire to help others create change in themselves and the world around them through the power of play.

The framework is based on a decade of research that explores how play can be transformative for children, students, parents, teachers, designers, and other adult professionals.

The Periodic Table of Play

The Periodic Table of Play is a cohesive, visual representation of that research and desire to apply play as a tool for innovation. Arranged by 12 categories, the poster shows each fundamental element of play as it fits into the greater scope of what’s possible. Like the traditional Periodic Table of Elements, this list is not fixed. There will always be new elements to add.


The Play Possible cards were built from these elements to further describe what makes each a “play power”, and how that power can be leveraged and applied in a tangible way.

Anatomy of a card

There are more than 45 play possibilities included in a card deck. The anatomy is simple:

A visual showing how play possible possible cards are constructedA visual showing how play possible cards are structured
An assortment of Play Possible cards
Play is the greatest natural resource in a creative economy.

Laura Seargeant Richardson

Head of Insights and Applied Innovation, argodesign, and creator of Play Possible

How the cards are used

This first deck of cards is primarily focused on the classroom, and meant to be a creative companion for teachers as the cards work on innovating their curriculum. The cards provide inspirations and provocations for teachers to bring unique elements of play and design thinking into their teaching.

The cards recommend everything from observing through a different “lens for looking,” to becoming an “imagineer,” to bodystorming solutions to problems, to mashing up and remixing content. In one card deck, there are 150 creative classroom provocations.

Play in practice


Kirkwood Missouri, School District

Play Possible cards were used as part of a large scale pilot program to boost the importance of play within their educational curriculum.


A Class at The University of Texas School of Design and Creative Technologies

Play Possible cards are used as the basis for design thinking, to supplement a course on the fundamentals of real-world design.


Nova Scotia Museum

The Periodic Table of Play is a key piece of the ‘Learning through Play’ toolbox for museum school programs.

Play is rigorous work, despite what some may think, and it leads to creativity and innovation. The Play Possible cards help define the important work of play, providing insights into real-life application and specific ideas for classroom use. I have zero doubt that our students and teachers will be more successful because we are teaching into the play elements and working to create open environments where flexible tools and modifiable rules are valued.

Dr. Bryan Painter

Assistant Superintendent, Learning & Innovation, Kirkwood School District

Next Project

Wire One

Urban cable transit systems