Winners of the 2022 Play for Change awards

Have a look at the winners of the 2022 Play for Change awards, an exciting line up of toy makers going the extra mile when developing their toys. Will you be among them next year?

Diversity & Inclusion

The diversity & inclusion award recognises activities and toys that break boundaries based on outdated ‘norms’ of social status, ability, sex, race or religion.

Lundby Dolls

Lundby Dolls feature families of all backgrounds. Representing all ages, dolls can be put together to create families that reflect the families of today. Micki Leksaker believes that the dolls will help build children’s self-esteem, communication skills, logical thinking, emotional and empathy skills by allowing them to recognize themselves in the doll.

The judges liked the ‘normalcy’ of this toy and appreciated how the diversity isn’t really signposted. They liked that the inclusivity was a feature rather than the sole selling point.

Diversity _ Inclusion - Gold_400

Dolls with hearing implant

Miniland Dolls with a hearing implant help children understand inclusivity through play by promoting empathy and acceptance. The dolls are used by organisations representing people with cochlear implants. They are also used by kindergarten teachers to help children without hearing impairment learn sign language and to promote more open-mindedness. This collection follows Miniland dolls with different ethnicities and dolls with down syndrome, the latter a Gold winner in the 2021 Play for Change Awards.

The judges recognised that the doll was a great entry for a disability that doesn’t get much attention. They recognised Miniland’s continued commitment to representing children with disabilities that aren’t immediately visible.

Diversity _ Inclusion - Silver_400

Baby Pelones

Baby Pelones honour kids battling cancer. Fundación Juegaterapia helps them overcome one of the most visible consequences of their illness: hair loss. Sick children can relate to the little pelones (“baldies”) wearing a colourful headscarf. Baby Pelones raise support for child cancer patients, especially amongst healthy children. All net proceeds of Baby Pelones sales go towards Fundación Juegaterapia’s projects to bring beauty, fun and hope to the lives of young inpatients in Spanish hospitals.

The judges thought that the dolls would be great at raising awareness for this cause. They also thought that they were empowering children with cancer by allowing them to identify with the doll. Finally, they also liked that profits from these dolls go to children’s hospitals that support the cause.

Diversity _ Inclusion - Bronze_400


The sustainability award is for initiatives and/or toys which aim to deliver an overall positive impact for the environment.

Matchbox – Driving toward a better future

‘Driving Toward a Better Future’ is an initiative to produce die-cast cars, playsets and packaging made with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030. The range also features electric vehicles (EV) and environments that model the real world, the toys are designed to engage kids in a greener future of driving. Mattel aims to educate children while also making a sustainable approach to production.

The judges felt that, given the size of Mattel, this initiative would have a large sustainability impact. The main highlight replacing the plastic screens on matchbox packaging with an all-cardboard package, which already has had an impact.

Sustainability Gold_400

Blue Marine Toy

Blue Marine Toys is dantoy’s new line of sand and water toys. The products in the line are made of plastic that comes from nets, trawls and rope from the fishing and maritime industry. dantoy use a network of suppliers who collect used fishing gear, which is then recycled and can be used to make the toys. ‘Blue Marine Toy’ also continue dantoy’s trend of sustainability, as they won this category in 2021.

The judges really liked the materials used in this range of toys. Across the whole range, the recycled bag was their main highlight. Being made from sustainable materials and that it could be used long term showed that dantoy were committed to sustainability.

Sustainability Silver_400

Rubbish Race

Rubbish Race is a board game that teaches players about the process of recycling and waste. The game uses five different coloured bins to show how to recycle properly. The game is made of wood, paper and cardboard and recycled paper. There is also no single-use plastic, water-based paints or FSC seal. The game shows Juguetes Cayro’s commitment to wider sustainability (recycling plastic leftover from production, collecting containers and packaging, collecting rainwater for all industrial and cleaning processes).

The judges liked the wide commitment to sustainability from Juguetes Cayro. The fact that the game not only educates but also that the toy uses recycled material in its production shows real interest in sustainable practices.

Sustainability Bronze_400


The life skills award recognises an initiative or product that prepares children for tomorrow’s world.

Doom the Gloom

The LEGO Group’s online experience “Doom the Gloom” is a mix of mini-games and interactive videos that provide children with the opportunity to playfully explore the digital world by equipping them with an understanding of six digital citizenship skills: creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, resilience, empathy and collaboration. “Doom the Gloom” is part of the brand’s “Digital Citizenship” programme to help children access the benefits of digital technology and flourish in a digital era.

The judges thought that the gamified learning should be rewarded since the topic is crucial for children today. They also thought that the game gave children the skills to safely navigate the digital world.

Life Skills Gold

Emotions Buddy

Miniland’s “Emotions Buddy” can help children learn about their emotions. It includes eight interchangeable parts to form different expressions in a monster face: joy, fear, sadness, anger and love. Its tummy lights up in colours that kids can choose from and link with each of the emotions. Recognising and identifying emotions is the first step in understanding them and being able to express them and is directly connected to social skills’ development.

It was clear during the judging that this toy helps children of a young age tackle complex emotions. The judges liked that the toy is aimed at children in a younger age bracket and so can be used from an early stage.

Life Skills - Silver_400

H2 Fuel Cell Car

Alternative energies are needed to replace fossil fuels for vehicles. Hydrogen and fuel cells are amongst the most promising energy technologies of recent years. But how does a fuel cell work? How can it generate hydrogen? Fischertechnik’s H2 Fuel Cell Car kit teaches students how to use the fuel cell and vehicle to investigate the properties of hydrogen. The kit is not just for tinkering – a fuel cell car can first be constructed and then activated with the help of hydrogen.

This toy stood out to the judges due to its novelty. The toy also gained points because of its double use. Children are engaged during the assembly of the toy and when learning about how the car moves.

Life Skills Bronze_400

Photos from the awards ceremony in Brussels