element of play®

Element of Play® (EOP) is a program developed to bring about psychosocial change and rehabilitate communities in areas of extreme poverty and disaster. 


what we do

We know that adverse childhood experiences cause trauma in children. This trauma causes them to miss critical developmental milestones and creates lasting negative consequences in their lives, which has a cumulative effect on their communities.

Through Element of Play®, WWO provides children and adults with access to play-based experiences and learning to support child development and school readiness, heal trauma and create healthy, connected and vibrant communities.



theory of change

We recognize that true change can only happen when a community can care for itself. The key to EOP’s success is that, through teaching and training, we facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between children and adults – which positively impacts their health and well-being. We maintain that any adult can attain a sense of mastery and purpose and will benefit from the immense rewards of supporting a child’s healing and development. By training adults in the community to be attuned to a child’s consciousness and emotional needs we promote attachment, prevent childhood trauma and change the trajectory of the lives of the children and adults involved.


inherent developmental benefits of play experiences



healthy body, muscle strength, balance, physical release



language, conversation, communication, relationships, cooperation, self-regulation, leadership, group skills



confidence, self-knowledge, resilience, coping abilities, empathy, courage, self-esteem



focus, attention, planning, literacy, problem-solving, organization, sequencing, decision-making, creativity



life cycle approach


Young children access programming that supports positive development outcomes and prepares them to enter school


School-age children receive the academic and psychosocial support they need to thrive in school and successfully transition into adulthood


Adults come together to learn about child development, engage in playful activities with children and acquire transferrable skills and experience to support future employability and increase civic engagement


the program

The uniqueness of EOP lies in its simplicity and trauma-informed, play-based curriculum. EOP’s purpose is to provide the tools parents/caregivers and children need to create and sustain healthy relationships.  Element of Play® includes the comprehensive EOP Curriculum and Training Program, the EOP Toy Library including a set of 120 scientifically curated toys and corresponding toy cards, storytelling, music-in-motion, dance, academic support, imagination and arts programming.


changes in child development outcomes

After participating in Element of Play® (EOP) for one year, children are given the support they need to catch up and achieve age-appropriate developmental milestones. 


experience Early childhood Improvement

After one year in EOP, children in Vietnam more than doubled their personal-social scores on standardized tests and showed a 74% improvement in problem solving skills.



In Haiti, 33% of children scored below normal development in at least two of five developmental domains at baseline (cohort of 42 children). After one year in EOP, that number dropped dramatically, with only 4% continuing to show delays.

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* Results observed over a one-year period using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire 3 (ASQ-3) tool.  

Element of Play® is significantly increasing the level of engagement between young children and the adults who play the greatest role in supporting and preparing them for success – their parents and caregivers. 



88% of adults trained in EOP conveyed more acceptance and warmth, supporting children’s self-esteem and behavioral adjustment.



96% of adults trained in EOP began using more descriptive language, which helped to promote early language and communication skills that are crucial for children’s success in school and beyond

* Results observed over a six-month period using the Indicator of Parent-Child Interaction (IPCI) tool. 


a sustainable movement




In Bulgaria, 76% of Roma caregivers gained significant child development knowledge and play strategies through EOP. These caregivers reported that they used this knowledge and strategies routinely when interacting with their children at home, thus having a multiplier effect on developmental change in children.  

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