Sponsor Thank You Week Kickoff – Thankful for Our Longtime Top Supporters

As we kickoff our Sponsor Thank You Week, we want to give a special shout out to four longtime, top supporters.  Since our founding TEN YEARS AGO (in 2009!), these four sponsors have been at our side, giving top level financial support to insure that the US Play Coalition could not only grow, but also evolve and expand its reach to spread the importance of the VALUE of PLAY .  They are truly are leaders in advancing the play movement. Their support comes from their deep belief in our work, our message, and our network.

Please click on their logos to learn more about each.


US Play Coalition Awards and Grants Help Expand the Play Movement

The US Play Coalition recognized exceptional researchers, practitioners and play projects at its 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play, held at Clemson University between March 31 and April 3, 2019.

Every year the US Play Coalition, a national organization headquartered at Clemson University, recognizes play researchers and practitioners who have made significant contributions to the knowledge of play, and practitioners and projects that help further play in their communities and beyond.

Play is important for people of all ages to be physically active, mentally alert, creative, and socially connected. Over the past decade, the US Play Coalition has been proud to have given almost $60,000 in action and research grants to a variety of projects. These investments have helped foster the continued growth of both a body of knowledge and community-focused play experiences that benefit thousands of people of all ages and abilities.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research
The US Play Coalition recognizes a play researcher each year for exceptional research in the field of play.  The award honors its namesake, Joe L. Frost, the contemporary father of play advocacy. Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the organization’s beginning in 2009.

Lynn A. Barnett, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism at the University of Illinois is the 2019 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research recipient. Dr Barnett is also a Fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences.

Dr. Barnett has had a long and sustained record of contributions to the study of play throughout her career, which started in the 1970s. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including books, scholarly journals, technical reports, and papers at professional meetings. In addition to her own scholarship, she has contributed to the study of play through activities such as serving on the editorial board of several journals, including Play Theory and Research, Play and Culture, and Play Research International. She has also taught multiple courses (at both the graduate and undergraduate level) related to play, including Play Across the Lifespan, Play Theories and Their Implications, Play and Leisure, and Humor as Play.

Youth Learning Institute’s Youth Development Practitioner Award
Flo Brett was recognized by the U.S. Play Coalition and Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute for outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services.

Brett founded the Effective Leadership Academy in 2008, after emigrating to the United States. The Academy and its 135 partners (and counting) has helped more than 20,000 students learn “real world” skills they need to be successful after they graduate. The program works directly with young people and their teachers to help them learn the skills they need to face adult life responsibly, ethically, and competently. Brett has also designed and facilitated professional development opportunities for teachers and youth workers, helping them to support their students’ holistic development in and out of the classroom. She shares best practices with other youth practitioners and community leaders to create a collaborative information and knowledge sharing network.

2019 Action Grant Winners

Three $1,000 action grants are providing needed funding for projects that are facilitating play in specific communities and across the country.

Courtney Gardner and Ben Dalbey with Free for All Baltimore received an Action Grant to help organize a Free for All Community Day. The event will make families aware of the opportunities for play, demonstrate the value of play activities to community leaders, and help engage the community in creating places for children and youth to play in Baltimore.

Ahren Hoffman, Jean Bailey and Kimberly Mosely with the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association are creating a Spanish version of the Brilliant Benefits of Toys Guide, which explores how toys are perhaps the fastest and most fun way for a child to reach important milestones through physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional and sensory play experiences. The guide, which is already available in English, will be shared both digitally and in print.

Shannon Keleher, Ph.D., Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Frisco, for the PlayFrisco! project, which will provide training for area teachers and parks and recreation employees, so they are better equipped to spread the message of the importance of play.

2019 Research Seed Grant Award Winner
Janet Loebach, Ph.D., received this year’s $3,000 Research Seed Grant Award for her project, “Development of a research-based audit tool for assessing the quality and efficacy of outdoor play environments.”

Loebach is developing a research-informed outdoor playspace audit tool to assess several different outdoor and natural play spaces, including in public parks and recreation facilities, schools or childcare facilities, and educational facilities such as museums or nature learning centers.

The assessment tool and a user guide could be used by designers, facility managers and administrators, school and child care facility staff, parks planners and managers, and even community groups, to assess or guide the development of natural, outdoor playspaces. It could also be used by researchers to evaluate play opportunities, or complement other tools, such as behavior mapping or staff walkalong interviews.

The U.S. Play Coalition
The U.S. Play Coalition is an international network of individuals and organizations that promotes the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the coalition is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The coalition is housed in Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department, part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences.


April 24th #WePlayChat: 10th Anniversary Conference “Lessons Learned”

Join us on Wednesday, April 24th at 7:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Ryan Fahey from Ottawa, Canada to discuss the topic, 10th Anniversary Conference: “Lessons Learned”.

Ryan is passionate about all things wellness, play and Physical Education focused. Ryan has worked provincially, nationally and internationally in various non-profit education delivery based roles. Ryan has also taught Physical Education in the Middle East where he also authored his first of three books on leadership development and wellness. He has also worked with the US Play Coalition for the past three years as their Play Ambassador Coordinator. When time allows, you can find Ryan running, working out, reading or visiting local coffee shops and parks with his wife.

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

Q1. What were your biggest ‘takeaways’ from the 10th Anniversary Play Conference?
Q2. What were the main highlights of your Play Conference experience?
Q3. If you could sum up your experience and learnings from the Conference in 30seconds, what would you say?
Q4. What would you like to see at future USPC Conferences?

#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.


10th Anniversary Limited Edition PLAY FOR LIFE Shirt

For our 10th Anniversary we have something special up our sleeve…PUN INTENDED!

HURRY! We have a VERY LIMITED TIME t-shirt campaign for our 10th Anniversary!
There are 5 color options on unisex short sleeve, long sleeve or youth short sleeve options.

Order online before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST April 7!!

https://www.bonfire.com/us-play-coalition-10th-anniversary/


PLAY Institute Approved for three hours of SC-CCCCD training credits

Play and Education from a Global Perspective

 

Sunday, March 31, 2019, at the Madren Center on the Clemson Campus from 9:00 to 12:30 (includes a 30 minute break).

This PLAY Institutes is essentially 4 workshops in one amazing 3-hour training that kickoff our conference programming on Sunday morning.

SPECIAL NOTE – This session has been approved for three hours of SC-CCCCD state-approved training credits will be provided in the Curriculum Category.

The goal of this institute is to provide conference participants with new ways to engage students of all ages in play-based, interactive learning both indoors and outdoors. Four presenters will provide current information on educational practices in the United States, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Presentations will include educational slides, video clips and photos of school settings in the U. S. and other countries that model the use of nature and the outdoors within an educational context. Presenters will pose questions and encourage dialogue with the audience. Attendees will receive handouts and the format will be informal and interactive. Three hours of professional development for professionals in early childhood education and related fields will be available for participants.

The presenters are as follows:

Dr Tracey Hunter-Doniger, Associate Professor, College of Charleston – Her workshop is on Forest Schools in Germany and the Netherlands and focuses on promoting creativity and autonomy for preschool children in natural, outdoor learning environments.

Mary MacKenzie, M. ED, United Kingdom and the Institute for Child Success. Her workshop is on Creating Balance for Young Children and Childhood Unplugged, emphasizing ways to teach children in outdoor learning settings and to encourage physical activity in natural settings..

Dr. Dee Stegelin, Institute for Child Success and Professor Emeritus-Clemson University. Her workshop is An Overview of the Reggio Emilia Approach: Bringing the Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments Together.

Dr. Heather Von Bank, Associate Professor, Minnesota State University: Project-Based Learning Strategies for All Learners. She speaks to the benefits of using project-based learning for both young children, adolescents, and adults as an effective way to engage them in real-world and highly interactive learning.

FOR OUR SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATORS THAT ONLY WANT TO ATTEND THIS INSTITUTE, WE HAVE A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU!

Click the box below to register for this special  training for just $15/person.  That’s 3 hours of training for just $15/person!!

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.


AIA CEU Approved Sessions Announced

 

For our many architect and design play friends, check out  the AIA CEU approved sessions at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE, March 31- April 3 in Clemson, South Carolina:

 

 

Play for All: Providing Accessible and Inclusive Outdoor Play and Learning Environments – Ji Hyun Oh

The purpose of this presentation is to share the study that examined provisions of playground environments in a preschool setting and to discuss how outdoor play spaces and play elements can support or hinder rich play experiences for children with and without disabilities.

Reframing the Playground: European Play Precedents at Tulsa’s Gathering Place – Chelsea Hoffman, Teri Hendy, Peter Heuken

European playgrounds provided the inspiration for the largest public playground in the United States, Tulsa’s Gathering Place. This virtual tour of precedents and the Tulsa installations explores how European-style play innovations can find a home on this side of The Pond.

Taking the idea of an inclusive playground past the label to true Universal Design – Alice Reese and Hannah Linter

Today’s buzzword in play is the accessible playground. Is a true inclusive playground limited by this label and idea? A true inclusive playground takes accessibility several steps further towards universal design.  The key to universal design is an environment that enables versus a play piece defining the user as disabled.

Blank Slate: Design for Learning, Exploration and Physical Growth – Paul Russell

Today’s buzzword in play is the accessible playground. Is a true inclusive playground limited by this label and idea? A true inclusive playground takes accessibility several steps further towards universal design.  The key to universal design is an environment that enables versus a play piece defining the user as disabled.

Temple University Students Design an Eco-schoolyard for Play and Learning at Greenberg Elementary – Lolly Tai

Temple University landscape architecture students assisted in the design of the eco-schoolyard for play and learning at Greenberg Elementary School in Philadelphia. Through a comprehensive design process and collaboration between university and school, Temple students demonstrated how their role impacted the initial impetus for creating a healthy and green schoolyard.

Playable Infrastructure – Meghan Talarowski

How do we make space for play? Through places, policies, and people. This session will discuss the role of the designer, the developer, and the community in fostering play for all ages through real world examples and step by step recipes of successful “playable infrastructure”.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.


LACES Approved Sessions Announced

For our many landscape architect play friends, check out all of the LACES approved sessions at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE, March 31- April 3 in Clemson, South Carolina:

  • Playable Infrastructure
  • What type of play is that? Categorizing play-types to objectively evaluate outdoor play environments
  • Socio-Environmental Barriers to Outdoor Play and Their Impact on Child Health Outcomes
  • Free play and alternative education pedagogies
  • Hardware or software in provisioning public play spaces for children: An analysis of forces at play
  • Action Research on Play for Life: The Making of Transitional Play Unit for Two-Year-Old Classrooms
  • Play for All: Providing Accessible and Inclusive Outdoor Play and Learning Environments
  • A Field-Testing Study on Outdoor Play Environments: Findings and Lessons Learned
  • Play by the River – Bringing natural, all-ages play to a new River Garden by the Mississippi
  • Learning through doing: The benefits to learning through planning for inclusive play.
  • I’m Tired of Saying “No”: Creating invitations for boisterous and adventurous play in the classroom
  • Sensory Inclusive Play: Partnering with KultcureCity to become Sensory Inclusive Certified
  • Reframing the Playground: European Play Precedents at Tulsa’s Gathering Place
  • Traffic Gardens and Dramatic/Challenging Play: Engagement as a Means of Facilitating Risk Competence
  • Developing Minds and Bodies Through Loose Parts Play
  • Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environments in Childcare Facilities: A Review of Policies in 3 States
  • Rotary PlayGarden: An Inclusive Play Success Story
  • Approaches for Evaluating the Design of Natural Playspaces to Sup-port Children’s Outdoor Play
  • The Role of a Playground Consultant
  • Inclusive Play Panel
  • “But, I have nothing to do in the park!” – Thinking about places for teens
  • Elevating Lifelong Play to Create Healthy Communities
  • Guerrilla Playfare:Lessons Learned From Parkour & Streetsport For Designing More Play-Friendly Cities
  • Taking the idea of an inclusive playground past the label to true Universal Design
  • Blank Slate: Design for Learning, Exploration and Physical Growth
  • Temple University Students Design an Eco-schoolyard for Play and Learning at Greenberg Elementary
  • How to Make Your Community Playful
  • Creating Playful Learning Communities
  • Lighting Play Environments for Today & the Future

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.


Wednesday, March 27th #Weplaychat: “Recess is Essential For Developing Young Minds” with the Voice of Play!

Join us on Wednesday, March 27th at 7:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Kariann from IPEMA (The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) and the Voice of Play, an initiative promoting growth in the quality and quantity of children’s free play and the use of playgrounds, Our March #WePlayChat will be focused on “Recess is Essential for Developing Young Minds”.

 

 

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

Q1. Does your school currently have recess? If so, how long is it and is it structured or unstructured?
Q2. What are the consequences of taking recess away from a child?
Q3. Do you think recess positively changes a student’s behavior? Why or why not?
Q4. Do you think recess helps students socially? What about academically? Why or why not?

#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.


10th Anniversary
Limited Edition Play Swag


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For our 10th Anniversary we have a few special things up our sleeve…PUN INTENDED!

 

HURRY! We have a VERY LIMITED TIME t-shirt campaign for our 10th Anniversary Conference!
There are 5 color options on unisex short sleeve, long sleeve or youth short sleeve options.

Order before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST March 12! (we will do another campaign soon)

*IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE PLAY CONFERENCE, EMAIL STEPHANIE AT SPGARST@CLEMSON.EDU TO BE PART OF A BULK ORDER AND AVOID SHIPPING COST!!!

Order online:

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!!
Our 10th anniversary swag just got FANCY!!!

Made locally in Clemson, South Carolina. These very popular cuff bracelets are available in three colors – silver, gold and rose gold. Support the US Play Coalition and PLAY by purchasing a PLAYful bracelet!

Order now through March 20 and choose “pickup” to avoid shipping and pickup at the Play Conference! Otherwise it is just $3.50 to ship in the US. (only available in the US at this time.)

They make great gifts, so order as many as you want!

Order yours before time runs out…!!!!

http://bit.ly/play-bracelets


2019 Lineup of PLAY Institutes Announced for 10th Anniversary Conference

We are thrilled to announce the 2019 lineup of PLAY Institutes for the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE.

These PLAY Institutes are 3-hour topic-specific trainings that kickoff our conference programming on Sunday, March 31 from 9:00am-12:30pm (includes a 30 minutes break).

Pick one of these great PLAY Institutes to start your Play Conference off with a bang!

Primal Play Playshop – How to Move and Play Like an Animal to Become More Human

Darryl Edwards, founder of HEALTH Unplugged, owner of Fitness Explorer Training and author of Paleo Fitness and Paleo from A to Z

Get fitter, stronger and healthier using the power of Primal Play. Regardless of your relationship with activity; whether you have a love affair with fitness and relish a new challenge or hate exercise but want to get passionate about movement again – you will gain practical movement skills that will assist you in performing everyday, recreational and extraordinary physical tasks more effectively using the power of play. You will also have a lot of fun doing it!

 

Play and Education from a Global Perspective

SPECIAL NOTE – This session has been approved for three hours of state-approved training credits will be provided in the area of Child Growth and Development.

Dolores (Dee) Stegelin – PhD, Professor Emeritus-Early Childhood Education, Clemson University and Research Fellow at the Institute for Child Success
Tracey Hunter-Doniger, PhD – Associate Professor-Art Education, College of Charleston
Mary Mackenzie – Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success
Heather Von Bank, PhD – Chair and Associate Professor of Family Consumer Science, Minnesota State University-Mankato

The goal of this institute is to provide conference participants with new ways to engage students of all ages in play-based, interactive learning both indoors and outdoors. Four presenters will provide current information on educational practices in the United States, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Presentations will include educational slides, video clips and photos of school settings in the U. S. and other countries that model the use of nature and the outdoors within an educational context. Presenters will pose questions and encourage dialogue with the audience. Attendees will receive handouts and the format will be informal and interactive. Three hours of professional development for professionals in early childhood education and related fields will be available for participants.

 

Respawn: A Gaming-Based Approach to Play That Optimizes Therapeutic Success Through Adaptive Engagement

Erik Johnson, OTR/L,  Chief Medical Officer for Operation Supply Drop & Warfighter Engaged, Consultant on new Xbox Adaptive Gaming Controller and Former Army Occupational Therapist

This session is designed to describe different emerging technologies available for use in therapeutic play and how the use of video games and technology can open an alternative world of play for people with disabilities.  It will also explore how industry is looking at inclusive design as it approaches game development and overall engagement with digital play.  We will discuss the evolution of the new Xbox Adaptive Controller and how Microsoft adopted the help of occupational therapists to create a product that caters to anyone with physical or cognitive impairments.

 

Play Risks: Exploring Research & Interventions

Ahren Hoffman, Director of Education & Jean Bailey, Educational Consultant
American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

The importance of play for children is well documented and the research is universal on the benefits of play! It is the very fuel children use to explore the world, develop skills and practice emotions. It is the catalyst for adults to relieve stress, connect to others and be more productive. There are societal concerns and risks related to the increasing lack of play across the lifespan, especially in childhood. What is the toll on neglecting play?

This session will explore a timeline of play risks across the lifespan like technology, creativity, aging population and more. Attendees will gain insights through thought leadership and research as well as participate in discussions on play interventions to conquer risks and advocate for the power of play.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.