August #WePlayChat: Physically Active Learning With Author Michael Kuczala

Join us on Twitter Tuesday, August 25th at 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT for the next installment of our monthly #WePlayChat.  We are honored to welcome Thought Leader, Change-maker, and Corwin Publishing Best-Selling Author, Michael Kuczala to the main stage for a conversation around Physically Active Learning. As schools, teachers, students, administrators, and parents all prepare for school in its various forms this fall, we are excited to have Michael take the main stage as an expert in movement and learning through active Play (AKA – The Kinesthetic Classroom).

Mike Kuczala is a thought leader on using physical activity in teaching, training, and learning. He has delivered keynotes, given presentations, and taught graduate courses on 4 continents. His presentations, courses, books, and videos have reached more than 100,000 teachers, trainers, corporate executives, and parents. He is also the co-author of the Corwin Bestseller and Association of Educational Publishers’ Distinguished Achievement Award-nominated, The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning through Movement, a book and philosophy that has changed the view of teaching and learning around the world.

Here are the questions we will be covering during this #WePlayChat:

Q1. Why is it critical for all students to be physically active during the school day?

Q2. What are the most effective ways to create a physically active classroom? 

Q3. What challenges might present themselves during physically active learning especially during this time of Covid19?

Q4. How do physically active classrooms look different in an elementary and secondary classroom?


How can you participate?
When it is time for the chat, login to Twitter, and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply, and retweet. Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!
____________________________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide-open field of play. Launched in 2016, it is the longest-running monthly play-based chat in the world. Our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 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.

Join us and contribute to the global conversation around the value of play!  When the time comes for our chat, jump on Twitter, and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply, and retweet.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

Learn more about #WePlayChat online by clicking here.


Award Winning Play Bracelets Return for 2020!

Our 10th anniversary play swag took home the “2019 Best Merchandise” Excellence Award from the South Carolina Festivals and Events Association earlier this year.

The SCFEA Excellence Awards celebrate the best from South Carolina!  Our “PLAY FOR LIFE” cuff bracelet, featured at our 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE, won the 2019 Best Merchandise award earlier this year.  Seemed only fitting for us to do an encore campaign and add this year’s theme to the mix!!

So order our AWARD WINNING PLAY CUFF BRACELETS through Aug 2 (even if the order form still says July 31)!

Made locally in Clemson, South Carolina. These very popular cuff bracelets are available in three colors – silver, gold and rose gold.

Each color can have one of three phrases:

PLAY FOR ALL

PLAY FOR LIFE

PLAY IS SURVIVAL

Support the US Play Coalition and PLAY by purchasing a PLAYful bracelet!
They make great graduation, birthday, holiday or “just because” gifts, so order as many as you want!
Order yours before time runs out…!!!!

Overview
• Handmade item
• Material: Aluminum, Brass, Copper
• Bracelet length: 6 Inches
• Bracelet width: 1/4 Inches
• Adjustable: Yes
• Style: Minimalist

Please note: Shipping is only available in the US at this time.  Shipping in the US is just $3.50.
OR! Locals can save on shipping with pickup at the US Play Coalition office at Clemson University

 


June 30 #WePlayChat on Why Recess Is Essential When Schools Re-Open

Join us on Twitter Tuesday, June 30 at 6:30pm EST for the next installment of our monthly #WePlayChat.  We are honored to welcome Global Recess Alliance (GRA) to discuss Why Recess Is Essential When Schools Re-Open.

The Global Recess Alliance, a newly formed group of scholars, health professionals, and education leaders, argues that attention to recess during school reopening is essential. Recess is the only unstructured time in the school day that provides space for children’s physical, social and emotional development, which are essential for well-being and learning. When schools reopen, children will need space to heal from their collective trauma.

The GRA founders have combined their expertise to provide answers and concrete strategies for a recess that not only works under the current circumstances but paves the way for a fundamental shift in the ways schools approach recess.

Here are the questions we will be covering during #WePlayChat:
Q1. Why is recess necessary, especially now?
Q2. How can schools implement recess safely?
Q3. What strategies, policies, and practices can be utilized?
Q4. Who do recess advocates need to contact to protect play in schools?

How can you participate?!

  • When it is time for the chat, login to Twitter and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.
  • Feel free to like, reply and retweet.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

____________________________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide-open field of play. Launched in 2016, it is the longest-running monthly play-based chat in the world. Our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 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.

Join us and contribute to the global conversation around the value of play!  When the time comes for our chat, jump on Twitter, and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply, and retweet.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

Learn more about #WePlayChat online by clicking here.


Virtual Poster Session “Happy Hour”

Join our first ever Virtual Poster Session “Happy Hour,” Recorded Live on Zoom

Thirteen distinct play projects were shared live, each presenter giving a 2-3 minute “elevator speech” about the poster.  Posters are available as part of the 2020 Online Play Conference Content.

Check out our lineup:

  • Patty Stine – “Play is Fun: How Play Professionals, Educators, and Other Child Experts Define Play”
  • Sharon Peck – “Reading Play: Making Literacy Learning Playful”
  • Lydia Jagodzinski representing a group of students from Minnesota State University – Mankato – “Playful Practices at a New Early Learning Center: Focus Groups with Parents and Staff”
  • Alexia Metz – “The Influence of The Number of Toys in The Environment on Toddlers’ Play”
  • Tyler Prochnow – “Sport Participation Effects on Adolescent Play Networks at Summer Care Programs”
  • Ilfa Zhulamanova – “Future Early Childhood Teachers’ Perceptions of Play”
  • Stephen Lewis – #natureismyhigherpower: Intersections Between Nature-Based Mindfulness and Social Media
  • Ahren Hoffman for 2019 Action Grant Winner ASTRA – “Make Way for Play: Brilliant Benefits of Toys”
  • Sue Pietrusza – “Physical Education Apps”
  • Brian VanDongen – “The Connections Between Play and Leadership”
  • Delfina Newton – “Sustainability of Self”
  • Farrah Zweig – “Empowered Play: Using Character Strengths and Social/Emotional Support to Spark Joy in Your Students”
  • Kristen Kohm and Fran Blumberg – “Siblings’ Problem-Solving Comments During Co-Play of a Puzzle Video Game” (PDF only)

 


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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!

 


May 26 #WePlayChat: Race, Play and Restoration

Join us on Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00pm EST as we welcome moderator Ariana Brazier from ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc. to discuss the topic, “Race, Play and Restoration.”

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

Ariana Brazier is a play-driven community-organizer and educator. She is an English, Critical & Cultural Studies, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Ari conducts community-based ethnographic research with Black students and families living in poverty in the southeast United States in order to document how Black child play functions as a grassroots praxis. She is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc. (Parent LAB). Parent LAB’s mission is to enhance generational literacies through PLAY in underserved African American communities.

Here are the questions Ariana will be covering during #WePlayChat:

Q1. What is the relationship between race and play?

Q2. How does play reveal racial inequities in our own communities?

Q3. How does play celebrate racial differences in our communities?

Q4. Why should we engage play as a restorative project? 

____________________________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide-open field of play. Launched in 2016, it is the longest-running monthly play-based chat in the world. Our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 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.

Join us and contribute to the global conversation around the value of play!  When the time comes for our chat, jump on Twitter, and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply, and retweet.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

Learn more about #WePlayChat online by clicking here.


Innovative Public School Advocate Speaks on Play and Wellness in Education

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D., rounds out the headliner lineup for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Hynes speaks on “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.

Michael Hynes is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. As a superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York,  it is his mission to spread the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. Dr. Hynes is also an Associate Professor at Long Island University/Post and Stony Brook University, teaching courses in School Law, Curriculum and Instruction and School Leadership and has published numerous articles and podcasts on school leadership and his belief in public education.  His article “Kids Need Play and Recess: Their Mental Health Depends on It” was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK.

Dr. Hynes is proud to be a Fulbright Specialist, TEDx speaker and author of the newly released best-selling book “Staying Grounded: 12 Principles to Transform School Leader Effectiveness.”

Special Note: Dr. Hynes will also be leading a virtual roundtable for school administrators registered for the 2020 Online Play Conference (details to come!).


This session is part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play, launching on May 1 and featuring more than 50 recorded headliners, educational sessions and research symposium presentations. All “live” headliner presentations leading up to the official launch are open to registered online conference attendees. All live sessions are recorded and included in our online conference content (so don’t fret if you miss any!). There is still time to join some of the live sessions leading up to the online conference launch!

 

 

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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


“Play Hour” LIVE Zoom Sessions for 2020 Online Play Conference

Exclusive for our registered 2020 ONLINE Play Conference attendees…

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT

“Play Hour” is part of the live content  delivered via Zoom for the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.

All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch on Friday, May 1, so don’t fret if you miss any!

Checkout our lineup for April 2020:

Friday, April 3, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Do They Even Know About Play?: Ways to Help Young Adults Reconnect with Play”
Heather Von Bank, PhD, Associate Professor, Child Development Family Studies, Minnesota State University Mankato
Pam Davis, Director of Campus Activities & Events, Clemson University
Brad Putman, PhD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, Clemson University
Erica Walker, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications, Clemson University

Monday, April 6, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Playing through Metaphor and Storytelling”
Megan Oteri, Founder/CEO, Brick Scholars

Friday, April 10, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Bringing Play to the World of Education”
Scott Bedley and Eric Saibel, Co-Founders, Global School Play Day

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“The Power of Play for ALL Ages”
Julie P. Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, Converse College
Jed Dearybury, Director of Creativity at www.mrdearybury.com

Friday, April 17, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“A Community Within: Black Child Play as Response and Protest”
Ariana Brazier, PhD Candidate and Julia Brazier, Auburn University Family Child Care Partnerships

Monday, April 20, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Ta Dah! Circus as a Teaching Tool”
Jessica Hentoff, Artistic/Executive Director, Circus Harmony

Friday, April 24, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play: Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook”
Martin LeBlanc, LBC Action and Children & Nature Network
Robyn Paulekas, Meridian Institute
Sarah Bodor, North American Assoc of Environmental Education
Dylan McDowell, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
Jayni Rasmussen with Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK)
James E. King Jr., researcher, environmental activist, and cultural responsiveness facilitator

Monday, April 27, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Magic of Play and Play Workshops”
Yesim Kunter, play expert and futurist

THURSDAY, April 30, 1:00pm EDT/10:00am PDT
“The Relationship between Play and Relationships”
Rusty Keeler, natural playscape designer and author at Earthplay
Claude Stephens, Facilitator of Outreach and Regenerative Design at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky
Megan Dickerson, Director of Exhibitions at San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum

 

Recordings of all “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom sessions will be included in the Online Play Conference content launching May 1.  Register TODAY to join all the live sessions and gain access to the 50+ online conference sessions launching soon!

 

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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


Panel on Play in Higher Ed to be First Installment of “Play Hour Live”

A panel of university educators will discuss play in higher education in a LIVE Zoom presentation, “Do They Even Know About Play? Ways to Help Young Adults Reconnect with Play,” Friday, April 3, 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT. (The session will be recorded and included in our official 2020 ONLINE Play Conference content.)

The panel discussion is the first installment of our “Play Hour”  LIVE Zoom sessions, scheduled weekly in April as part of the 2020 ONLINE Play Conference: PLAY FOR ALL. Registered conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.

Our modern day university classrooms look, sound, and feel very different as compared to even 10 or 15 years ago. Professors are taking greater strides to engage students in course content through conversation, project based learning, and critical inquiry.

By creating inventive and playful systems of pedagogies, students can develop a deeper understanding of theories, educational pedagogies, and effective ways to work with others.

The benefits of learning and exploring new content through play let students explore new ideas through playful experiences, develop intrinsic motivation, focus more on process than product and have fun. Playful classrooms and opportunities for spontaneous learning can promote students’ development of creativity and imagination (Lieberman, 1977).

But do young adults even know how to play, or how to define play in a classroom, or if play is even acceptable?

In this panel discussion, five university educators will discuss ways they help their students playfully explore course content in a university classroom. Panelists will address the following areas through the lens of play: arts education, graphic communication, engineering, construction, and recreational activities.

Heather Von Bank, PhD (panel moderator) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Consumer Science in the area of Child Development Family Studies at Minnesota State University Mankato. For the past 11 years, she has taught a class to undergraduate students about the importance of play in the lives and development of children. The students create a play day for the community and in turn learn a lot about themselves and their own play histories.

Pam Davis works in Student Affairs at Clemson as the Director of Campus Activities & Events. They manage several indoor/outdoor venues on campus and coordinate events. Prior to her current position, she worked with the City of Greenville (SC) Parks and Recreation to implement youth and adult fitness, athletic and community programs and events, as well as coordinate the Mobi-Rec vehicle, which takes “play” all over the city, especially to lower-income areas.

Erica Walker, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson. Her recent research focuses on working with adjunct professors, in highly specified areas of visual and graphic communications, to translate their work experiences into fast-paced, game-based activities. Prior to that, her dissertation focused on the impact on that a senior design project had on students and instructors as they transitioned from a from lecture-based course to physical, interactive games.

Brad Putman, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences and is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering. He has incorporated a playful mindset into his courses, including Pavement Design and Construction where he challenges students to address real problems that engineers face using “loose parts” to create a prototype of their solution.

 

 

“Play Hour” is a series of LIVE Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday in April at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT as part of the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play.  All “Play Hour” LIVE Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch (May 1), so don’t fret if you miss any!


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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our first-ever online Play Conference!


Outdoor Industry Asssociation’s Lise Aangeenbrug Kicks Off 2020 ONLINE Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is proud to announce Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association, will kickoff the 2020 ONLINE Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL with a LIVE Zoom keynote presentation, “Promoting the Power of Play.”

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 Industry Association, a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry. They are a force for the industry in recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation and increasing outdoor participation.

Until a few weeks ago, Lise was the executive director of the OIA’s charitable arm, the Outdoor Foundation (and she continues to serve as its president).  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 her new role with the Outdoor Industry Association, her focus broadens to “build thriving businesses, thriving people and a thriving planet.”

“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 are honored that Lise is still able to share her valuable insights with us, after we had to cancel our in-person conference.  Play is a valuable tool people can use to help address anxious times, and a necessary release when isolated at home,” says Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition.

In early March, the US Play Coalition announced they would shift their 2020 Play Conference to an online format in response to the rapid pace of the COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the ONLINE conference will be recorded educational and research sessions originally slated for that in-person conference – more than 50 presentations to date.  “Live” presentations like this one by Lise Aangeenbrug are only available to registered conference attendees.  The presentations will be recorded and included in the ONLINE conference content for those who cannot join in real time.

SPECIAL NOTE: Given that Colorado (Lise’s home state) is now under a stay-at-home order, this presentation will be low tech.  There is no production team or marketing experts creating a flashy video.  This will be Lise and a laptop…and we are grateful she will share her expertise with us.

 

 

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 has been moved ONLINE for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It will be our first-ever online Play Conference!


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.