June 27 #WePlayChat:
“Playful and Paleo”

Join us Wednesday, June 27 at 12:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Ashleigh VanHouton from Paleo Magazine to our #WePlayChat to discuss the topic, “Playful and Paleo.”

Ashleigh VanHouten is a writer, editor, Primal Health Coach, and host of Paleo Magazine Radio. She divides her time between Ottawa, Ca

nada and New York City, and when she’s not reading about or interviewing authorities on health, fitness, and wellness, she’s working on personal goals like jiu jitsu and convincing her friends to eat organ meat. Learn more about Paleo Magazine and her podcast at paleomagonline.com; or, connect with Ashleigh on instagram @themusclemaven or at ashleighvanhouten.com. Please join us in welcoming Ashleigh to our monthly #WePlayChat learning opportunities.

Here are the questions Ashleigh will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

1. What do the words, “Primal” and “Paleo” mean and how do they relate to play?

2. Why should “play” be considered as “primal”?
 
3. What are some great primal/playful activities anyone can try to positively effect your health?
 
4. Where can I go to learn more about primal movement and play?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


May 29 #WePlayChat on Twitter:
“The Play Effect in Education”

Join us Tuesday, May 29 at 8:00pm EST as we welcome Jed Dearybury to our #WePlayChat to discuss, “The Play Effect in Education.

Jed Dearybury is 16 year veteran of education in the early childhood classroom in South Carolina, and currently Director of Professional Development & Communications for the Palmetto State Teachers Association (PSTA). During his classroom tenure, Jed received numerous awards. He was featured in GQ Magazine as Male Leader of the Year, met President Obama as the SC winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, and was named as a top 5 finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year because of his passion, love, and success in education. He eagerly seeks to promote public education in South Carolina and beyond. His goal: Equip, Encourage, Empower the teaching profession using creativity, laughter, and sparkle.

Here are the chat questions that will guide our conversation:

1. What are the most common myths you have learned about play in education? 
2. Can you share specific examples of  how you use play in your classroom and its effect on learning?
3. How can you learn about what types of play your students and children are interested in?
4. What is “your face of play” and how does it affect your daily life and your area of work?

 

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our monthly #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days each month to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in to contribute to the conversation around the value of play.

April 26 #WePlayChat: “Reflecting On The Many Faces of Play”

Join us Thursday, April 26 at 12:00pm EST for our post-conference #WePlayChat, “Reflecting on The Many Faces of Play.”  Learn about some of the big ideas, the big learning, the big fun…and give input on our plans for the 10th anniversary conference in 2019!

Here are the chat questions that will guide our conversation:

1. What resonated with you the most from #PlayConf18? Can you provide specific examples?
2. What have you changed in your practice of supporting play as a result of #PlayConf18?
3. What was one unique story you want to share from #PlayConf18?
4. How can #PlayConf19 be even better as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary? 

 

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our monthly #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days each month to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in to contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


March 19 #WePlayChat on Twitter: “Play in Nature and Passive Recreation Areas”

Join us Monday, March 19 at 9:00am EST as we welcome Brian VanDongen to our #WePlayChat as we discuss, “Play in Nature and Passive Recreation Areas.

Brian VanDongen, CPRP, is a nationally certified recreation and parks professional who has implemented transformational recreation programming for people of all ages and abilities. Beginning with working at recreation programs in high school, to supervising intramural programs in college, through to creating, improving, and managing entire recreational programs, camps, and sports leagues, Brian has a passion for physical activity, parks and recreation, and play.  He understands the importance of and works to provide access to safe and welcoming parks and the assess the needs of communities to engage children and adults in popular, wanted, and needed recreational programming. As a US Play Coalition Play Ambassador, he promotes the value of play throughout life and plays and important role in sharing knowledge and ideas to recreation professionals, educators, parents, and students.  He believes that the power of play can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. Brian is currently the Assistant Director of Recreation for Readington Township, a suburban community in central New Jersey.

Here are the chat questions that will guide our conversation:

1. What is a “passive recreation area?”
2. What are the benefits of playing in nature & passive recreation areas?
3. How can we encourage more play in these areas?
4. Where and how do you play in nature? 
#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.
We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our monthly #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days each month to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in to contribute to the conversation around the value of play.

February 27 #WePlayChat with
Tracey Gilmour: Loose Parts Play

Join us Tuesday, February 27 at 11:00am EST as we welcome co-moderator Tracey Gilmour from Alberta, Canada to our #WePlayChat to discuss Loose Parts Play.
Tracey works for Ever Active Schools as a School Health Facilitator, focusing on developing play and learning in the outdoors. A qualified teacher since 2006, Tracey has taught grades K, 2, 3, 5, 6, and has worked with large UK primary schools as part of the administration team. She specializes in developing outdoor nature-based play and learning opportunities, connecting children with nature, cross-curricular learning, experiential teaching and learning. She is currently focused on implementing Loose Play Projects in schools to support creative child directed play. Tracey is currently completing her M.Ed in Educational Leadership.

Since earning her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies, post graduate qualifications in education and special needs education, Tracey has lived and worked in England, Nepal and South Korea.

Here are the questions Tracey will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

1) How can Loose Parts Play support child development?

2) How does directed play differ from other forms of play and why is it important?

3) What are the perceived risks associated with Loose Parts Play and are they worth it?

4) In what contexts can Loose Parts Play be best utilized? 

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


January 29 #WePlayChat: Play To Heal Community Trauma

Join us Monday, January 29 at 9:00am EST as we welcome co-moderator Nathan LeJune from New Orleans to our #WePlayChat to discuss, “Play To Heal Community Trauma.”

After serving in various youth-development roles for over 10 years, Nathan ‘Nate’ LeJeune moved to New Orleans from South West Louisiana to be a part of the ever-changing community landscape. He has served as a Program Director for a local community-based youth development program (Excite All-Stars) and Program Manager for the Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps program. Nathan has now transitioned to training coaches and programs across the country in sports-based youth development strategies and practices. When Nathan isn’t studying the latest trauma-sensitive research, he enjoys spending time with his family, attending sporting events, and playing as many sports as his wife and body will allow. Join us in welcoming Nathan to our monthly #WePlayChat learning opportunities.

Here are the questions Nathan will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

1. How can coaches and facilitators of play aid in healing a community affected by trauma?

2. We know that opportunities for free play develop strong social-emotional skills for kids. How can we incorporate safe opportunities for free play in sports settings?
 
3. When we play we create connections and build competency, the ability to learn new skills. How can these outcomes benefit our individual and communal sense of safety and contribute to healing?
 
4. What are other aspects of play and sport that can be therapeutic for kids, and help them feel safe and supported when playing?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


#WePlayChat 2017: A Year In Review

#WePlayChat 2017 is in the books!  #WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat.  It is a FREE professional development opportunity for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. #WePlayChat also serves as a platform to engage and network with other organizations and individuals through social media. There was great discussion throughout the year – each month with a different play themed topic and chat moderators who used their unique experience and expertise to facilitate the dialogue.  #WePlayChat-ers to date include teachers, playground organizations, play and recess advocates and other play enthusiasts from coast to coast as well as from across the globe – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  Our 2017 #WePlayChat participants came from 8 countries, spanning 5 continents.  As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to share…

The top tweets of #WePlayChat 2017!

Our themes for 2017 were broad and our moderators were impressive:

  • January 2017 – “Play Based Experiential Learning” with guest co-moderator Amowi Phillips, social innovator and concept team leader of the Mmofra Foundation, part of Playtime in Africa, a children’s park and natural learning project in Accra, Ghana which is the only one of its kind in the country.
  • February 2017 – “The Joys of Unstructured Play” with guest co-moderator Rae Pica, education consultant and author
  • March 2017 – “Play to Support Growth & Well Being” with guest co-moderator Kimberly Hart of AAAStateofPlay.com
  • April 2017 – “Lessons Learned at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play” with US Play Coalition Exec Director Stephanie Garst and Play Ambassador Coordinator Ryan Fahey
  • May 2017 – “The Importance of Play” with guest co-moderator Genius of Play
  • June 2017 – “Inclusive Play” with guest co-moderator US Paralympian Jill Moore
  • July 2017 – “The Role of the Adult for Children’s Play” with guest co-moderator Leung of DANCEPL3Y and Vivo for Healthier Generations (Alberta, Canada)
  • August 2017 – “How Communities Can Promote Play” with guest co-moderator Carly Demanett of the Eugene Civic Alliance (Eugene, OR)
  • September 2017 – “Creating a Healthier Life by Participating in Play” with guest co-moderator Darryl Edwards; Creator of the Primal Play Method™ (London, England)
  • October 2017 – “Play and Millennials” with co-moderator Dr. Heather Von Bank from Minnesota State University-Mankato
  • November 2017 – “Making Fitness a Playful Pursuit in Education” with co-moderator Dale Sidebottom, owner of Energetic Education (Melbourne, Australia)
  • December 2017 – “Inclusive Play” with co-moderator Brandi Heather, Adapted Physical Activity and Play Development Specialist (Alberta, Canada)

 

Thank you to all of those individuals, partners, sponsors and organizations who have been a critical part of our #WePlayChat learning opportunities this past year. This chat currently serves as the largest monthly play based twitter chat in world thanks to all of your engagement and support.

We are excited to continue the conversation in 2018 and beyond. Join us in the new year for #WePlayChat! Find us on Twitter @USPlayCoalition.


December 4 #WePlayChat on Twitter tackles Inclusive Play

Join us Monday, December 4 at 11:00am EST/ 9:00am MST for our December #WePlayChat on Inclusive Play.  We  are thrilled to welcome co-moderator Brandi Heather, Adapted Physical Activity and Play Development Specialist based in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Brandi is both a Builder and Instructor, she has spent 19 years using accessible play as the foundation of her programming and teaching. Brandi has helped to build a highly successful 2 year Adapted Physical Education Diploma Program at Red Deer College. The program’s foundation is built on teaching strength based physical literacy programming for people with disabilities. Her programs focus on igniting potential, expanding expectations, and exploring possibilities; children and their families participate together in a play based exploration that builds a child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development that offers both success and challenge for children with a variety of ability levels.

Her children’s adapted physical activity programming helps children and families connect to the importance of movement through play, developing physical literacy skills for a lifetime. Her play spaces give opportunity to explore their physical ability, determination, gross and fine motor skills and to discover how their body explores space and boundaries.

Here are the questions that will guide our chat:

Q1. How can we use play to make connections to recreation and wellness opportunities for people living with impairment?
Q2. How can play and therapeutic play be used to create inclusive environments in education?health? recreation?
Q3. What are the health benefits of play for families with children living with an impairment?

Q4. What are examples of great play based activities that you have seen in community that include people of all abilities?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.

 


November #WePlayChat: Making Fitness a Playful Pursuit in Education

Join us Wednesday, November 15 at 8:00pm EST (that is noon on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia!!)  as we welcome co-moderator Dale Sidebottom, owner of Energetic Education in Australia for our #WePlayChat on “Making Fitness a Playful Pursuit in Education

Dale Sidebottom has been referred to as the energiser bunny of the physical education world. He is also the owner of ‘Energetic Education’ (www.energetic.education) and ‘Bottoms Up Fitness’ (www.bottomsup.fitness), where he has changed the way play and fitness are conducted in schools around the world. Dale has recently launched a huge new gamified learning platform, aimed at helping classroom teachers increase movement through learning in the classroom (www.learningwith.games). Breakappz.com is also another of Dales businesses where he has created over 35 mobile applications for teachers which can be found at www.breakappz.com.

Q1. What activities do you use to incorporate movement and learning in your teaching?

Q2. What ways do you get students moving in the classroom?

Q3. How can we create classrooms where moving, games and learning all happen together? 

Q4. What does the future of play and physical activity look like in education?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


October #WePlayChat: “Play and Millennials”

Join us Thursday, October 26 at 12:00pm EST/ 11:00am CST as we welcome co-moderator Dr. Heather Von Bank from Minnesota State University-Mankato to our #WePlayChat on “Play and Millennials.

Dr. Heather Von Bank is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Consumer Science at Minnesota State University-Mankato.  Her area of expertise is Child Development and Family Studies. Dr. Von Bank received her PhD. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational. She is currently the FCS Department Chairperson and also teaches Parenting Education, Lifespan Development, and The Role of Play in Child Development. In 2013 Dr. Von Bank, co-authored her first book, “The Power of Playful Learning: The Green Edition.” Feel free to connect with Heather on twitter prior to the chat @HeatherVonBank.

Here are the chat questions that will guide our dialogue:
  • What do we know about the millennial young adults today and their play history?
  • How does this play history differ across other generations?
  • How have education testing policies of the last 10-15 years affected young adult’s ideas about the value of play?
  • How do millennials’ play experiences affect their parenting practices? Lifestyle choices?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.