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.


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.


January 24th #weplaychat: “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with Kim Hordal-Hlewka!


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Please join us on Thursday, January 24th at 6:00pm EST (4pm MST) as we discuss, “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with the incredibly enthusiastic Kim Hordal-Hlewka from Alberta, Canada! Kim Hordal-Hlewka is the Assistant Principal of Michael Phair Junior High that opened it’s doors in the fall of 2017. Kim has taught Kindergarten to Grade 9 Physical Education and was the Physical Education, Health and Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Edmonton Public Schools. Recently Kim spent four years as the Provincial Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Ever Active Schools. Kim is extremely passionate about the importance of connecting to the whole child through physical education, health, and well-being. In past Kim has presented for @EverActiveSchoolsAB, @AlbertaHPEC, @PHECanada, Early Childhood Conferences, New Teachers Convention,

International Physical Literacy Conference, National Healthy Schools Conference, and Shaping the Future Conference.

Kim firmly believes that mental health, play & whole child education are interconnected pieces. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

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

  • Q1. How does a whole child approach to play & education support healthy brain development? 
  • Q2. What are the necessary elements to taking a whole child approach to play? Education? 
  • Q3. How does whole child education and play prepare students for tomorrow? 
  • Q4. How do we know when we are supporting mental health through a whole child approach?

#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 the value of PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

November 28th #Weplaychat Featuring Maryland’s Own, Patty Stine!

Join us on Wednesday, November 28th at 12:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Patty Stine of Pure Play Everyday Inc. out of Maryland to our #WePlayChat on “Engaging Volunteers at Play Based Events”.

Patty Stine began her professional career in promoting play as a child delivering play structures manufactured by her family business with her parents. Since then she has worked as a play environment designer, preschool teacher, and child care, professional trainer. She learned through all of this that play has the power to positively influence the self-image and development of children. Patty also serves as a US Play Coalition Play Ambassador. Patty’s commitment to demonstrating simple ways in which children and youth can experience maximum benefit from their play is contagious and we are grateful to have her perspective as she drives our November #weplaychat!

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

Q1: What are the elements (time, space and materials) of a “play based event”?
Q2: Who can/should be invited to volunteer at your play based event?
Q3: What are the benefits of having volunteers at your play based event?
Q4: Are there policies or forms you need to have in place before hosting your “play based event”?

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

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


October 22nd #Weplaychat with Play Ambassador & Educator Gina Ruffcorn

Join us on Monday, October 22nd at 9:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Gina Ruffcorn of West Harrison Community School to our #WePlayChat as we discuss, “Learning While Moving: Incorporating Play & Motion Into The Classroom.

Gina is a Skype Master Teacher Founding Member, Skype Master Teacher Mentor, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. Gina also has been honored with ambassadorships from Go Noodle, Spelling City, Kahoot and Pen Pal Schools. She has a Bachelors Degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa and a Masters degree in literacy and 21st Century Technologies from the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She currently teaches a 5th grade self-contained classroom at West Harrison Community School in Mondamin, Iowa where she also serves as the Technology Integrationist for her school district.

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

Q1 What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement and play into your school/work days?

Q2 How do you tie-in play and movement within your curriculum standards?

Q3 How do you give your students voice and choice in activities?

Q4 What tips and tricks do you have for incorporating movement during transition times?


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

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


July 24 #WePlayChat: “The Social and Emotional Benefits of Play”

Join us on Tuesday, July 24th at 7:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Tracy Lockwood, Owner of PLAY Education, to our #WePlayChat to discuss the topic, “The Social and Emotional Benefits of Play”.

Tracy Lockwood is a certified K-12 PE Teacher and has over 25 years of experience as an educator. Her teaching experience includes working with K-12 students in Alberta & Abu Dhabi. Tracy was employed as an Education Consultant for nearly 10 years where she facilitated hundreds of workshops for thousands of professionals at the local, provincial, national and international level. Her consulting role brought many opportunities to write, edit and review resources and curriculum for numerous organizations and government ministries. Tracy is a Master Trainer for the National Coaching Certification Program & DANCEPL3Y (dance-play). She has her Masters in Educational Leadership and has a passion for all things physical education, physical literacy and physical activity. Through her many years of teaching, coaching, and facilitating, she has discovered her greatest passion!  Today, Tracy runs a successful business, PLAY Education, and works with thousands of children, youth and adults every year around the world to empower and inspire them to move, laugh, connect, and smile, while learning new ways to be physically active and develop physical literacy.  Visit her website – www.playeducation.ca  Check out her new adventures on Twitter this Fall in Asia, where she and her husband will be living and working. Please join us in welcoming Tracy to our monthly #WePlayChat on Twitter. You can connect with her prior to the chat @PLAY_Educator.

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

1. What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and why is it important to be more intentional about teaching SEL skills?

2. When should we teach SEL skills? 

3. How can we teach SEL skills across multiple settings? 

4. What resources are available to support SEL through Play?


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

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


#Thankful4Play Photo Challenge for November

This November, we want YOU to help us show the world how you are #Thankful4Play with our first ever photo challenge.  As we lead up to the American Thanksgiving holiday, please post pictures on all your favorite social media platforms with the hashtag #Thankful4Play and tag @usplaycoalition too!
Top #Thankful4Play posts will be featured in our first ever #Thankful4Play Thanksgiving gallery – and the most popular photos will receive PLAY prizes!

Note: Photos will be shared on our social media and possibly in future publications.


2018 Play Conference Logo Design Competition Announced

Are you creative?!  Handy with graphic design programs?! Wanna win a $100 Amazon.com e-gift card?!  Submit a design for our first ever conference logo by July 9.

The winning logo will be used to establish the conference’s visual identity and highlight the theme for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.


New to the Play Conference? You’re Gonna Wanna Read This!

Meet Marie-Catherine Dubé, Aquatic Play Design expert at Vortex International and poster child for all the reasons YOU should come to the Conference on the Value of Play !  This is her story…

My first experience at the US Play Coalition’s annual Conference on the Value of Play was definitely a memorable one, to say the least. As a senior Industrial Design student studying at Purdue University the spring of 2015, I discovered the existence of the coalition while working on my thesis in Nepal, the fall prior. My work, Tilt: the Playscape Project, involved studying play in a third world environment, and from there I would build a playground at a local school. I quickly fell in love with the field of play.  Discovering that there was this whole GROUP of people—professionals!—who were also passionate about play, I knew I needed to get to this conference however possible. Through educational sessions, roundtables, and amazing keynote speakers, I discovered how multifaceted this field of study can be, how broad the span of interested individuals actually is.

The most valuable part of my first experience at the US Play Coalition conference, aside the sessions (that were actually educational!), the roundtables, the keynotes…was the networking. Meeting people to share ideas with and work with was truly the jumpstart to my career. I attended a session on water play where a company from Montreal, Canada was presenting. As an avid Montreal Canadians fan (and Canadian by birth), I later saw one of the presenters in the hospitality suite on the last day and was not shy about my love for Canada and play. As it turns out, networking your passion is pretty valuable; I met the right person at the right time!  Turns out that presenter was the president & CEO of Vortex!  Because of that conversation, I later got what I consider is the coolest job in the world! I moved to Montreal and now work as a waterpark designer, where every single day I get to study and utilize my love for play. Because of that conference in 2015, I absolutely love my job, the US Play Coalition, and I’m a Play Advocate for life!

Haven’t convinced you yet?!  Check out all the details for the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play…and join me!


Conference Speakers Focus On “Planning for Play”

The Landscape Architect and Aquatic Play design expert agree on one thing—the key to a successful project is determined before the first shovel gets near the site. It’s all in the planning.

Marie-Catherine Dubé, Aquatic Play Design expert at Vortex International, and Zak Pierce, a professional Landscape Architect with CLH Design, will explain their common view at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, South Carolina.

“We need to understand the site, the community’s culture, and how we can enhance the play experience through natural elements,” says Marie-Catherine. “We’ve found that water can elevate the play experience and plays a critical role in appealing to users of all ability levels.”

“We also need to consider the health, safety, and welfare of all users,” adds Zak. “We want our projects to accommodate a multi-generational audience so that everyone benefits from a community play space. It’s a lot more than picking components out of a catalog.”

Learn more about how you can maximize the play value of a community space, from design to execution, by attending their talk.