ACES Play Corner

A Smart Park in Solo, Indonesia

Case Study - Indonesia


The ACES Play Corner is a physical learning space designed to be fun, comfortable, and safe for underprivileged children who live in a densely populated settlement where education and play facilities are still lacking.

The Play Corner takes place in Taman Cerdas (Smart Park) Gandekan, Solo; a city in the Central Java Province of Indonesia. The establishment of the Smart Park aims to provide public facilities for play, interaction, and learning activities for children, especially those from areas around the Smart Park location. Children can read, play, acquire new knowledge and skills, and adapt comfortably to the environment. Within the Smart Park, the Play Corner functions as a playful learning tool for children, guided by Solo Mengajar volunteers. Available resources include game-based teaching aids and exciting learning materials for visitors to use.

The volunteers apply learning approaches using the playful and frugal ACES model. This model is used because it is considered simpler and more effective. Children can use materials from nature and the surrounding environment to create fun educational games at very little cost. Children can take turns or study in groups at within the Play Corner space. Activities include reading picture and science books and playing modern and traditional games, such as ‘congklak’ comfortably within the space. In addition, the game tools available can also be used in groups to hone the children’s abilities to socially interact with each other.

Target Audience

The project involved approximately 602 participants: 577 students and 25 volunteers at Solo Mengajarl. In addition, the program targets a wider community of indirect beneficiaries, including 200 children from every family in the ward. ACES Play Corner and Taman Pintar are also models of educational spaces for several locations in Solo, where all related training and extra-curricular activities take place.

Intelligent Garden Village

Gandekan, Surakarta City, Central Java, Indonesia

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 5: Gender Equality

Aims & Objectives

ACES Play Corners and Smart Parks can serve a variety of purposes regarding student welfare, environmental protection, fun learning and cost-effective education, cultural awareness and promotion, etc. It is also in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing; SDG 4 – Quality education; and SDG 5 – Gender equality.

This project aims to provide Fun and Cost-effective learning spaces for students and teachers as a hybrid pedagogical approach, responding to curriculum transformation through a series of training workshops and experiential learning. Participants are involved in the joint design, facilitation and evaluation of ACES Play Corner and Smart Park activities in Local Education, STEM, and other subjects in the curriculum.

Examples of activity toolkits include:

  • SDGs Game
  • Puzzle Games
  • Water Purification Game
  • Promoting ACES Play Corner (Poster)


The case study has been active since September 2021 and is set to complete by September 2022. It consists of 4 major phases:

  1. Needs analysis and preparation for the ACES Play Corner;
  2. Co-design and co-construct both the ACES Play Corner and playful/frugal activities;
  3. Grand opening of the ACES Play Corner and toolkits of playful/frugal activities;
  4. The ACES Play Corner as a pedagogical approach.

Project Updates

November-December 2022, we came up with big plans for our Indonesian Team for a field trip to Taman Smart Gandekan and Solo Teaching, where we met with the children and volunteers again after the Opening. Then the children through volunteers were instructed to jointly design STEM products at the ACES Play Corner with the theme of water purification. They work together in the same group, sourcing the inexpensive materials needed to make water sanitation containers, and other devices. The students showed a positive attitude towards ACES Play Corner, and they wanted to keep ACES Play Corner at its best. However, they also want to experience more learning activities at ACES Play Corner when they are free from exams and exam preparation.

During the activity, ACES team members acted as mentors, generating critical questions to challenge each group. By reflecting on the goals, learning outcomes, and steps of Design Thinking iteratively and iteratively, the volunteers have the opportunity to improve the design for a better final product. After the final pitching design, the volunteers worked together again and completed several important lessons about design feasibility in their teaching and suggestions for improvement.


ACES Play Corner launched!

The ACES team (UK and Indonesia) officially launched the play corner at the community space in Ponorogo, engaging with the general public and children (most of whom do not have access to formal education). The space is used for educating young people using playful and frugal approaches. The project engaged with the head of the community and the space is now managed by the community itself to support their children. 

There are various press releases concerning this which can be accessed here: ,,,,,,

ACES Indonesia

Learn more about the activities of the Reogify ACES initiative team.
ACES Indonesia website

Intelligent Garden Village

Gandekan, Surakarta City, Central Java, Indonesia