Water: Discovering the Extra Dimension of Play

Did you know that by adding water, you are actually adding an extra dimension of play?

Water is timeless…it has a universal appeal…it transcends cultures and generations, transcends age groups. It brings an endless supply of sensations, thrills, and excitement. Water draws people in and brings people together. And yet when we think of the word ‘play’ even here, our minds don’t firstly associate that with water, we might think of sports or playgrounds or games we play at home or in schools. But we kind of underestimate the importance and fun and benefits of water play.

“Because unlike playing sports or with toys or in a sandbox, we don’t move water. Water literally moves us.  Physically. Emotionally. Socially. Across age gaps. Even across demographics” says Marie-Catherine Dubé, Vortex’s lead designer and play advocate.  At the 2018 Play Conference, Marie-Catherine and others shared the social and physical developmental aspects of water play and the revitalizing role that water-based playscapes are having in our communities.

With 7,000 installations in 45 countries, Vortex Aquatic Structures International is a world leader in aquatic play solutions.  Learn more about Vortex at vortex-intl.com


Clemson University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences Continues to Sponsor the Play Conference

A message from Dr. Brett Wright, Dean of Clemson University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Clemson University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Conference on the Value of Play hosted by the US Play Coalition, whose mission is to help strengthen communities — physically, socially, economically, and culturally.

We, as a college, are focused on building people and building communities, and focused on becoming a national and international leader in solving the problems faced by individuals, families, communities and societies. One such problem is play deprivation among children.

Through our unique combination of departments and schools, we are working to further Clemson’s land-grant mission, strategic vision, and global impact – and make a tangible difference in the lives of people every day!

As a college that strives to make a difference, we recognize the importance of play and how it makes a community stronger. We have faculty involved in research in this field, and we are happy to partner with the US Play Coalition.

Dr. Brett Wright
Dean
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
Clemson University


CEUs for Architects and Landscape Architects Available to Registered Attendees at The Play Conference

Want a PLAYful way to earn AIA and LA CES CEUs?!  Come to the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11 at Clemson University.

More than 18 hours of our sessions have been approved for LA CES credits.  Over 9 hours of our sessions have been approved for AIA learning units – two sessions also approved for HSW credits (NCBLA credits are pending too!).

Check out these LA CES approved sessions below.  AIA designation indicated where applicable.  All are one hour unless noted:

  • Effective Playground Protective Surfacing: The Key Element for Risk Assessment under the new ASTM F1487 (*3.5 hours, separate registration required – AIA HSW and LU)
  • Inclusive Design for the Aquatic Splash Pad (AIA HSW and LU)
  • Community-Based Strategies for Building and Activating Inclusive Playgrounds (AIA LU)
  • Learning to Build (AIA LU)
  • Lighting Play Environments for Today & the Future (AIA LU)
  • Shhh! There’s a Playspace coming to the Library! (AIA LU)
  • Your Senses at Play! Explore playground designs and programs that support children with Autism (AIA LU)
  • A Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting Play and Zoo Walkways
  • Availability and Quality of Urban Play Spaces in The East Africa Community: A Critical Assessment
  • Just Play Project: Ithaca: Designing the Child-Friendly City!
  • US-PLay-Round-Tables
  • Sensory Play: An Integral Component of Inclusive Recreation
  • Shaped by Play: The Formative Role of Play and Playgrounds
  • The Butterfly Effect: Building on the Big Idea
  • The Many Spaces of Play: The Many Faces of Children
  • Water Play and Children’s Complex Scientific Explorations
  • Zoos as a Nature Play Destination: Nature Playgrounds at Bronx Zoo and Houston Zoo

Special registration options are available for schools, non-profits, and government agencies looking to send 4 or more delegates.  Contact Stephanie Garst for more information.

 

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.

  

 


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.

AIA CEUs Available to Registered Attendees at The Play Conference

Want a PLAYful way to earn AIA CEUs?!  Come to the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11 at Clemson University.

More than 8 hours of our sessions have been approved for AIA learning units – two sessions also approved for HSW credits (all are approved for LA CES with NCBLA  pending too!)

Check out these AIA approved sessions (all are one hour unless noted):

Special registration options are available for schools, non-profits, and government agencies looking to send 4 or more delegates.  Contact Stephanie Garst for more information.

 

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.

  

 


Children’s Early Play Experiences a “Developmental Necessity” for Successful Adults

To build better playgrounds and to encourage more of them, we wanted to understand how play leads to the development of successful adults. That’s why we commissioned a meta-study in partnership with the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development to advance the conversation.

Drawing from a wide body of social scientific analyses, we found the studies overwhelmingly reinforce the value—and seemingly, the developmental necessity—of children’s early play experiences. Most studies draw strong associations between free, unstructured play and positive outcomes. Several studies also point to restrictive work and school schedules, organized after-school activities, safety concerns and the rise of passive entertainment options for the growing infringement on children’s play opportunities.

For children around the world, playgrounds and play are an important and positive part of childhood development. Request a copy of the full research whitepaper at shapedbyplay.com.


“EAT, SLEEP, PLAY, REPEAT” SHIRTS now available for pre-order!

Make sure YOU are wearing the latest in PLAY gear at the 2018 Play Conference!!!

These new LIMITED EDITION play shirts were designed by Play Ambassadors Brian VanDongen and Ryan Fahey.  T-shirt orders placed here will be available for pickup at the Play Conference only. (NOTE: A separate post-conference campaign will have shipping options). If you are coming to the Play Conference, order here to SAVE on shipping!

Orders open now through March 12.

They will only print what gets ordered before the campaign closes. Those ordered get printed and will be available for pickup at the Play Conference!

Support US Play Coalition and PLAY by purchasing a PLAYful shirt! Order yours before time runs out…!!!!


LA CES Credits Available to Registered Attendees at The Play Conference

Want a PLAYful way to earn LA CES CEUs?!  Come to the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11 at Clemson University.

More than 18 hours of our sessions have been approved for LA CES credits – and more are pending!
(NCBLA and AIA credits are pending too!)

Check out these LA CES approved sessions (all are one hour unless noted):

  • Effective Playground Protective Surfacing: The Key Element for Risk Assessment under the new ASTM F1487 (*3.5 LA CES hours, separate registration required)
  • A Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting Play and Zoo Walkways
  • Availability and Quality of Urban Play Spaces in The East Africa Community: A Critical Assessment
  • Community-Based Strategies for Building and Activating Inclusive Playgrounds
  • Inclusive Design for the Aquatic Splash Pad
  • Just Play Project: Ithaca: Designing the Child-Friendly City!
  • Learning to Build
  • Lighting Play Environments for Today & the Future (also approved for AIA CEUs)US-PLay-Round-Tables
  • Sensory Play: An Integral Component of Inclusive Recreation
  • Shaped by Play: The Formative Role of Play and Playgrounds
  • Shhh! There’s a Playspace coming to the Library!
  • The Butterfly Effect: Building on the Big Idea
  • The Many Spaces of Play: The Many Faces of Children
  • Water Play and Children’s Complex Scientific Explorations
  • Your Senses at Play! Explore playground designs and programs that support children with Autism.
  • Zoos as a Nature Play Destination: Nature Playgrounds at Bronx Zoo and Houston Zoo

Special registration options are available for schools, non-profits, and government agencies looking to send 4 or more delegates.  Contact Stephanie Garst for more information.

 

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.

  

 


Advancing Evidence-Based Environments through Scholarship

PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research, and Education (CORE) is the only research-focused organization invested with more than 30 scholars and universities, publishing third party, valid, evidence-based resources to help build research-based environments that result in meaningful outcomes.

GameTime utilizes the scholarly findings of PlayCore’s work in a number of meaningful ways, in the design of their products, and the overall creation of environments themselves. The power of this scholarly advisement cannot be regarded lightly, as this knowledge becomes the foundation of the finished environment; therefore a customer need not have advanced degrees in any area of specialization to benefit from an environment built on scholarship.

PlayCore’s latest scholar spotlight falls on Dr. Stuart Brown. As a foremost authority on play, Dr. Brown is contributing to a monthly blog on playcore.com, and will be featured at the 2018 Play Conference highlighting the partnership and his scholarly insight on the many faces of play.

 


Industry Leaders Announced for Keynote “Power PLAYer Panel”

The US Play Coalition is proud
to announce the latest addition
to the keynote lineup for the
2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play

Some of the biggest names in the industry will come together for our kickoff keynote session – the “Power PLAYer Panel.”  Tackling the theme of “The Many Faces of Play” from research, health, accessibility, inclusion and museum perspectives, this is a discussion NOT to be missed!

Moderator:
Fran Mainella – Founder/Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition & Former Director of the National Park Service
Fran Mainella served as the 16th Director of the National Park Service from 2001 – 2006. She was the first woman to hold this key position. Prior to heading the National Park Service, Mainella served for twelve years as Director of Florida State Parks. She has also served as executive director of the Florida Recreation and Park Association and as president of both the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Association of State Park Directors. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and the founder and co-chair of the US Play Coalition.

Panelists:
Erwin Tan, MD – Director of Thought Leadership – Health for AARP
Dr. Erwin Tan is a board-certified internist and geriatrician. He previously served as the director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he oversaw the RSVP, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs. From 2004 to 2010, he served as an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was an attending physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. From 2003-2004, Dr. Tan was a White House Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Before coming to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, he was a member of the Bio Terrorism Working Group at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. Dr. Tan was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves.

Sherril York, Ph.D. – Executive Director of the National Center on Accessibility
Dr. Sherril York is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism.  York oversees NCA operations, the cooperative agreement between Indiana University and the National Park Service, collaborative partnerships and national initiatives.  York has over 30 years of experience in accessibility and disability in physical activity development, recreation activities, and adapted sports. She can often be found talking directly to practitioners in the field on methods to successfully include people with disabilities.  York has provided consultation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park Conservancy, Grand Canyon National Park and a number of exhibit design companies on accessible exhibits.  Currently, she serves on the program planning committee for the National Recreation and Park Association Congress.

Laura Huerta Migus – Executive Director, Association of Children’s Museums

Laura Huerta Migus is the executive director of the Association of Children’s Museums, an international membership organization dedicated to advancing the work of children’s museums and early learning in informal settings. She is a passionate advocate for  the powerful learning experiences and environments museums offer – especially for children and families that are traditionally marginalized in formal learning systems. Ms Huerta Migus, previously of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc. (ASTC), brings more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing professional development experiences and international partnerships for creating culturally responsive and inclusive educational and organizational environments. Previous appointments include positions at the National MultiCultural Institute and the National Association for Bilingual Education.

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.