Thankful for Our
Longtime Top Supporters

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we want to give some special love to four longtime, top supporters.

Since our founding MORE THAN 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.


February 24 #WePlayChat on Recess and Play in School with Dr. Michael Hynes

Join us on Monday, February 24 at 6:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Dr. Michael Hynes from Long Island, New York to discuss the topic, “The Importance of Recess and Play in School.

New this year, #WePlayChat has a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities to cover the what, how and why during chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create each month.

About The Moderator

Dr. Michael Hynes works as a public school superintendent of schools for the Port Washington School District, Fulbright Specialist and an associate professor of education and leadership on Long Island, NY. His mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. He emphasizes the importance of play, recess in schools, mental health and yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. Dr. Hynes is a former assistant superintendent, principal and teacher. Hynes is also a public school advocate, TEDx and keynote speaker and has published numerous articles and featured on several podcasts and articles on school leadership. Hynes has focused his work on transforming schools by tapping into Potential Based Education, which focuses on the significance of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development for students as well as developing strategic plans for school buildings and school districts. Dr. Hynes educates the masses on global school initiatives and universal best practices. He has studied and worked with the Finnish school system. Hynes received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Bethany College and his doctorate in educational administration from Dowling College. He has undergone professional training to integrate organizational learning and school leadership into programs at New York University, Stony Brook University and Harvard University. Dr. Hynes has been awarded the “Friend of Education Award” and the “Distinguished Leadership Award” by Phi Delta Kappa as well as numerous other awards related to leadership.

Here are the questions Dr. Hynes will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. What can you do to make sure all children receive the proper amount of recess every day in school?

Q2. How can we foster more mix-aged play in school?

Q3. How much recess do you feel all elementary children should have every day and why?

Q4. Knowing that self-directed play is critical for child development, what is one thing an educator can do to make that happen in school?____________________________________________________________________________________

#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.


The ABCs of the 2020 Play Conference Educational Sessions
and Research Symposium

The full detailed schedule is coming soon with even more session titles…but until then, below is an alphabetical list of the Educational Sessions and Research Symposium Sessions that have been confirmed for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.

Check back often because we will update the list as our presenters continue to confirm their sessions.

          

  • “As a parent, if I can…”: Parents’ Perception and Design of Children’s Out of School Time
  • “You Can’t Fall From That” – What National Playground Standards Could Learn from Childcare Regulations
  • A Community Within: Black Child Play as Response & Protest
  • Adapting Play for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Addressing Physical Activity through a Preschool Nutrition and Physical Activity Intervention
  • All-Inclusive Play for All Guidelines: Embracing Science, Innovation and Fun to Support Human Development
  • Applying a Task-Person-Environment Approach to Designing Play Studies
  • Bourbon, BBQ and Bots: Educating Older Adults about Play
  • Breaking Down Barriers to Student Potential with Inclusive Coordinative Classroom Play
  • Building an Outdoor Classroom anywhere
  • Child Play Network Influences on Physical Literacy in Mexican-heritage Colonias
  • COMMUNITY EDinburgh (Inspiration from Scotland)
  • Creativity and Outdoor Play – The Recipe for All Children
  • Designing and Building PLAYces with Teens
  • Designing Successful Play Partnerships:  PlayBuild + Tulane University
  • Determining Obesity Rates in Children with Multiple Play Breaks in Schools Daily
  • Determining the Suitability of Neighborhood Sidewalks for Play with an Evaluation of the Streetscape
  • Documenting Children’s Play: Including the Child’s Voice
  • Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth Through Meaningful Play and Recreation Opportunities
  • Encouraging Time Outdoors in Naturalized Learning Environments in South Carolina Childcare Facilities
  • Examining the link between recess quality and classroom behavior in elementary school children
  • Experiencing Play: Evaluating and Thinking with Outdoor Play
  • Families and Play
  • For the Love of Lycra: Stretch, Feel, Laugh, Play
  • Free Aquatic Play in a Controlled World
  • From Freedom to Liberation to Revolution: Anji Play Stories from The Anji Interviews
  • Furnishing for Adult Play: Developing a Social Play Space for a Multidisciplinary Research Community
  • Getting Teens to Play
  • Green Schoolyards – Neighborhood Amenity to National Necessity
  • Guide to Implementing Play Streets in Rural Communities: A Tool to Increase Active Play Opportunities for Children
  • Hidden Children
  • How Principles in Play Connect to Pedagogy in Gifted Education and Talent Development
  • Joining In: Parent Perspectives on Specially Designed Inclusive Play
  • Keeping Recess in Indoor Recess
  • Learning from One Another: School and Preschool Play around the Globe
  • Leisure & Late Adulthood: Examining the Benefits of Participation during Retirement
  • Listening to Children: Exploring the Legacy of Vivian Paley
  • Lowering Barriers…How Giving Nature Play a Purpose Can Get People Outdoors!
  • Measuring the Impact of Playful Learning in a Nature-based Early Childhood Program
  • Messy, Muddy, and Marvelous: Forest Schools, Education and Play
  • Mitigating Bias in Play Opportunities
  • Modifying Play Environments for Sensory Processing Differences
  • Movement & learning: what’s the connection?
  • Movement in Middle School – Application of the Transtheoretical Model for Physical Activity
  • Moving the Temperature Needle: Cooling and Greening Playgrounds
  • Neurodiversity and Play
  • Pedaling to Safe Play: Factors Related to Youth Self-Efficacy for Injury Prevention Bicycle Skills
  • Play and Culture: Investigating the Impact of Toys and Play Materials
  • Play as a Parallel Process for Learning
  • Play as Therapy for Helping Families Heal & Grow
  • Play Based Curriculum for Humanities in Museum Environments
  • Play Experiences in Social Emotional Learning
  • Play is for teens, too! Employing teens during the summer to be Play Captains
  • Play on Purpose: Putting the Power of Play to Work in Retirement
  • Play, Dementia & Alzheimers: Life and Fun Following Diagnosis
  • Playful Reading: Literacy through Play
  • Playing the Eduspeak Speak Game: Tips on Aligning Lessons with Play Principles
  • Playing with Disability: Loose Parts, Outdoor Play, and Occupational Therapy
  • Raptors & Ruderals: What do we mean by ‘nature play’ in an urban environment?
  • Relationships, Relationships, Relationships, Relationships, Programs and Services
  • Religion and the Biological and Cultural and Evolution of Child’s Play
  • Same Game, Different Play
  • Say “Yes!” to Kids with Disabilities: Stories and Strategies for including ALL kids
  • Seniors and Preschoolers Design Toys Together: An Intergenerational Play Project in Finland
  • Strengthen Your Play Story in the Digital World
  • Testing Play: Concepts to Construction
  • The All New Voice of Play Website: How to Maximize This Exciting New Resource
  • The Influence of Preschool Educators’ Beliefs about Play-Based Learning on Instructional Delivery
  • The Power of Play for ALL Ages
  • The Power of Playful Learning with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
  • Unstructured Play in Schools is Linked to Positive Health Benefits for Teachers
  • Using Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) to Promote Relationship and Connection
  • When Teachers Are Prepared to Use Play as A Learning Medium
  • Why We Play and Why We Will Continue to Play in Pickens County
  • Yes, And: The Power of Teaching with Improvisational Play

Be sure to REGISTER TODAY because the early bird deadline for this PLAYful conference is February 15.

…and MANY, MANY MORE!!  You don’t want to miss this exciting professional development opportunity!  Join us at the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29 – April 1 at Clemson University.

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.


Reflecting on Play
from Back in the Day

As a kid your imagination is filled with toys, video games, monsters, sports and a room full of blank canvases to allow your brain to explore. When I was a kid growing up in inner-city New Jersey, most of my afternoons and weekends were surrounded by family members and friends.

The first thing I can vividly remember doing as a kid was learning how to play football from my mother and father, who in his past was a 2x all-state high school selection. Early on, I would be out in the neighborhood with my cousins and friends playing street football with my mother watching nervously from the side, praying I didn’t get hurt playing with teenagers three times my size and 10 years older than me. Football remained a love of mine until 7th grade.

My grandmother bought me a mongoose bike, black and orange interior design with black rims and wheels with orange handlebars and pedals. Riding that bike was my favorite thing to do after school, besides throwing the football. You could bet your top dollar I was gonna be riding down the biggest hills, curviest roads, and most dangerous turns every single day.

I once had a bad experience in my playful childhood. I had sandals on, and I was about 6 years old, speeding down the hill on my bike. I noticed I was going too fast and tried to use my brakes, but the speed was overwhelming. I ended up using my sandals and scraped all of my toes and blood was everywhere. I remember sitting in the middle of the street crying and my grandmother picking me up, cleaning me off, and giving me a lollipop. Once I recovered from my gruesome injuries, I did not ride my bike for weeks.

On weekends, I would play video games with my friends and cousins, but my favorite thing we did was play hide and go seek and tag until the street lights came on.

Playing outside and being away from my room was the cool thing to do when I was a kid, and I took every advantage of being active, free, and young as much as I could. Being outside taught me my love for sports and what it meant to be full of life and imagination.

 

 

 

Aamir Simms is a junior at Clemson University and an intern for the US Play Coalition.

 


Conservation Champion & Power PLAYer Lise Aangeenbrug Joins 2020 Play Conference Headliners

The US Play Coalition is proud to announce Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation (soon to be the executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association), as  the latest addition to the keynote lineup for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, at Clemson University.

For the last 30 years, Lise’s career has been in service of protecting land and wildlife habitat, building parks and trails, and connecting communities to the outdoors.  Lise currently serves as the Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of the Outdoor Industry Association.  The Foundation is on a mission to get everyone to thrive outside.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the executive vice president for the National Park Foundation and the executive director of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund.

Upon taking the helm of the Outdoor Foundation in 2018, Lise said that she looked forward to working with her stakeholders “to collectively inspire the next generation to PLAY in and love the outdoors.”

In March, Lise will take up the mantle of Executive Director of Outdoor Industry Association and continue serving as president of the Outdoor Foundation.

“Lise is a leader in the outdoor industry with experience in conservation and connecting people to the outdoors through the Thrive Outside Community Initiative and similar efforts.  We can’t wait to hear her insights on getting kids, families and entire communities PLAYING outside!” says Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition.

 

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.

  

Innovative Public School Advocate to give PLAYtalk on Play and Wellness in Education

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D., will be a PLAYtalk presenter at the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, 2020, in Clemson, South Carolina.

Hynes is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. A superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York, it’s his mission to spread the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. Dr. Hynes, an innovative public school advocate and university lecturer, has made contributions regarding the importance of play and recess in schools as well as yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. He has also published numerous articles and featured in numerous podcasts on school leadership.

His article on “Play, Recess and Mental Health” was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK.

Dr. Hynes’ 2020 PLAYtalk presentation will be “Creating a School Vision of Play and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education,” addressing how do schools can create a vision and mission that embody a balanced approach to education with play and wellness as its main driver.

PLAYtalks are our version of TED Talks at the annual Play Conference. They are a series of 15-20 minute dynamic, entertaining, enlightening, engaging, inspiring, informative talks by thought leaders in the play world.

Dr. Hynes will also be leading a roundtable for school administrators at the Play Conference.

 

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.

 

Now Accepting Nominations for 2020 Outstanding Researcher and Youth Practitioner Awards

The U.S. Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 2020 awards program, recognizing outstanding play research and youth practitioners.

First awarded at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play, our awards program honors exceptional individuals each year.  The 2020 winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm EST on December 15, 2019.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research is given annually in recognition of a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known across the world for his more than 30 years of work on early childhood and children’s play environments. Past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and International Play Association/USA, he is the author or co-author of 18 books and numerous publications and has also served as a consultant for playgrounds worldwide.

Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009. He served as a keynote speaker that year at the coalition’s first conference – then called the Summit on the Value of Play –and has been an honorary chair for each successive conference.

YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award

The U.S. Play Coalition teamed with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute for the Youth Development Practitioner Award. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services. (The nominee does NOT have to be affiliated with Clemson University.)

“There are many deserving practitioners across the nation, and our goal with this award is to bring recognition to this field of service,” said Stephen Lance, executive director of the Youth Learning Institute.


10th Anniversary PLAY FOR LIFE Shirt Available thru Oct. 29

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

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  Order your limited edition 10th Anniversary play shirt through October 29!

Just in time for your cool fall days, we have upgraded our long sleeve version to PREMIUM style for maximum softness and comfort!

PLAY in style!!  There are 5 color options in unisex short or long sleeve AND youth short sleeve styles.

Order online before the campaign ends at 11:59pm EST on October 29!!

 

 

 

 


October 30th #WePlayChat: “How Play can Change our Relationship with Diversity and Inclusion”

Join us on Wednesday, October 30 at 9:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Brandi Heather, Chief Knowledge Officer of Amped2Play, to discuss the topic, “How play can change our relationship with diversity and inclusion”.

Brandi Heather is an Adapted Physical Activity and Play Development Specialist based in Red Deer, Alberta. As both a Builder and Instructor, she has spent 20 years using accessible play as the foundation of her programming and post-secondary teaching.She is currently Chief Knowledge Officer and Co Founder of AMPED2PLAY INC. where her

expertise and passion for accessible multigenerational play is highlighted in multiple programs including PLAY6S – finding ways for every person to discover and enjoy movement through inclusive play including Adapted DANCEPL3Y.

Brandi is passionate about play and the pursuit of bringing an inclusive lens to all structured and unstructured programming.

Here are the questions that Brandi will lead with us during this chat:

_______________________________________________________________________

Q1. How can play be a catalyst for change management, resiliency and adaptability?

Q2. How can we create sustainable learning from playful experiences?

Q3. What barriers to do we hear and see when we introduce play as a serious method for physical, social and cognitive change?

Q4.How does Play give the opportunity to build more inclusive communities, schools, sports, and recreation?

_______________________________________________________________________

#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 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. 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.


US Play Coalition Announces Regional Event in Cooperation with ChiTag

The US Play Coalition’s next regional event is taking on the Windy City!  We are partnering with the Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) for their 2019 Play In Education (PIE) Conference: Play as a Classroom Tool, Saturday, November 23 from 10am-3pm at Chicago’s Navy Pier.  Play in Education exists to equip and encourage teachers to fully engage the minds of their students by leveraging the power of play.  Registration is only $25!

According to Mary Couzin, CEO & founder of ChiTAG, “I love these win-win-win-win partnerships!”

Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition agrees.  “Mary and her team with Play in Education are providing professional development opportunities for teachers to embrace to VALUE that play can bring to the classroom.”

Join us at the PIE Conference for a half day of PLAYful learning featuring TWO of our US Play Coalition Play Ambassadors!  Joyce Hemphill will present on “The Power of Playful Learning.” Jed Dearybury will show you how to “Play Your Way Out of the Box!”  And that’s not all!  Explore even more play from experts Mary Kay Morrison and Tim Walsh.

 

ChiTAG Group
The Chicago Toy & Game Group,  or “ChiTAG” – pronounced SHY-Tag – for short. Founded by Mary Couzin in 2003, we produce ChiTAG Week, a series of events promoting and celebrating play and innovation that welcomes industry, consumers and traditional and social media the week before Thanksgiving.

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.