2017play-conference-logo-final2017 Conference on the Value of Play:
Where Design Meets Play

Bringing Play to Landscapes, Curricula, Programs, Museums & Beyond

This annual conference brings together leading play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the country. The three-day event includes keynote and featured speakers, play institutes, PLAYtalks, research symposium, educational sessions, roundtables, grant opportunities, networking, and opportunities for play.  Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, email usplaycoalition@clemson.edu.



Innovative Play Space Designer Matthew Urbanski is a landscape architect and Principal of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in New York, NY. He lectures regularly on design of play spaces in the landscape and how spatial complexity, particularly when combined with plants and other natural materials, supports an integration of active and imaginative play.

His keynote remarks will examine lessons learned from designing play spaces.

Who will be our other keynote speaker?!  Check back often!


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

Kimberly S. Clay
Founder & Executive Director, Play Like A Girl!®

Play Like A Girl!® is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women and girls to be healthy and confident through sport, physical activity, and active play.  Founder and executive director Dr. Kimberly Clay will share her passion for helping girls reach their full potential and her latest efforts to #bringbackplay – starting in backyards, neighborhood parks and schools across the South.

Dr. Kim has been named one of Toyota’s Everyday Heroes, Xavier University’s 40 Under 40, and one of 50 People on the Move by the Nashville Business Journal.



James Siegal

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit that seeks to give all kids the childhood they deserve filled with play.  KaBOOM! is dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.  Most recently, KaBOOM! hosted The Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million competition to helps kids access innovative play spaces.

For his PLAYtalk, James will discuss “Transforming Every Day Spaces into PLAYces”.

Who will be our other PLAYtalk-ers?!  Check back often!

Featured Speakers

Coffee Talks & Fireside Chats and ROUNDtables

Coffee Talks and Fireside Chats harness the organic opportunities for networking, collaborating and research.

ROUNDtables feature knowledgeable facilitators around critical issues and trends in the field.

CEUs Available

Clemson University awards CEUs for your participation in sessions at The Conference on the Value of Play. All keynotes, featured, research and educational sessions are 45 minutes in length.  Participants can be awarded .05 CEUs for each of these sessions attended. Institutes are another CEU opportunity.  Fees may apply.

Play Research Symposium & Educational Sessions

The Play Research Symposium provides opportunities for a scholarly exchange surrounding play.  Presentations will be accepted as either formal paper presentations or for inclusion in a poster session.  Applications coming soon.

Educational Sessions are opportunities to share and discover innovative play strategies and play research. Our goal is to bring together diverse perspectives to facilitate the advancement of the play movement. Presenter applications coming soon.

usplaycoaltionPLAY Workshops

PLAY Workshops are hour-long, hands-on, interactive PLAY learning sessions.

2017 Event Schedule

  • Schedule at a Glance

  • Conference Program