Play on Purpose

Play On Purpose Mini-Grant Opportunity

Play On Purpose, or “POP,” is an initiative designed to help young children (0-5 years old) learn through play in likely and even unlikely places! Children are always learning! Seizing moments when families are waiting, shopping, mingling or walking in their neighborhood can be powerful and fun.

Our BIG vision is to blanket our community with experiences to support playful interactions that build connections between young children and their parents and caregivers.

We want to partner with you to bring a Play On Purpose “POP Spot!” to your waiting room, bus stop, sidewalk, office, or community space.

Click Here to see a “Playbook” of playful experiences.

Click Here to see examples of local “POP Spots” in the works!

Purpose of POP

Children’s brains develop the fastest in the early years. Critical synapses are being formed from Birth to Age 5 that lay the foundation for later learning. To build babies’ brains, we want to empower families to play and talk together throughout the day. Through “POP Spots,” we can bring high quality, evidenced-based prompts and learning experiences to families in neighborhoods and community spaces across Montgomery County.


What is the Mini-Grant Opportunity?

In partnership with local funders, Learn to Earn is providing mini-grants of $500 to $10,000 to organizations and groups that want to provide playful learning experiences for families. Mini-grant recipients will receive technical assistance from the Play On Purpose Early Childhood Design Committee, made up of early childhood development experts and fabricators. They will help you design and build a playful experience or create playful signage and prompts to encourage fun and engaging interaction at your “POP Spot.” 



Community organizations, non-profits, neighborhood associations, advocacy groups, small business owners, grocery stores, and others are eligible to apply. If you have a highly-trafficked space and want to create a “POP Spot,” we invite you to apply! 


Already have a playful experience? This opportunity is for YOU, too! We want to partner with you to get the news out about your space. Apply for a mini-grant to create bold, playful signage with prompts that will drive parent and child play at your experience. In addition to adding signage, your space will be registered as an official “POP Spot” and you will be named a member of the Play On Purpose Collaborative.

How to Apply

Complete the online application at the bottom of the page.


Mini-grants will be awarded in March, June, September and December. Submit your application as soon as possible, as funding is limited.

Selection process

Applications will be evaluated by a review panel composed of Play On Purpose partners. We’ll invite finalists to a follow-up interview.

If you have questions or are having trouble filling out this form please contact Hope Vuto, Birth to 5 Program Manager at or call (937) 718-0890

Mini-Grant Application Form