Online Play Facilitation Training

Our Play Facilitation Certificate of Completion training is now ONLINE!!  This is an introductory course that will help you incorporate play through two facilitation roles: supporting and directing.

This training is a great introduction to PLAY for those who work with children in camps, museums, childcare, parks and out-of-school programs.  The training is aimed at adults working with children in age groups 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11. There is also a brief segment on children ages 12 and up. The training gives adult facilitators the tools, beginner knowledge, and confidence to provide unstructured play experiences at their facility.

The format of the training is an average of two to three hours of online learning for an individual to complete the program.

Through online quizzes and exercises, the Certificate of Completion program ensures comprehension of the training material. There is also a resources section available throughout and after the training.

Two Enrollment Options

Individual enrollment:

  • Online training
  • Certificate of completion from the US Play Coalition and Clemson University
  • Cost: $59.00


The online Play Facilitation Training is down due to technical issues.  Please stay tuned!

Departments, schools, or organizations enrollment:

  • Online training for groups of 6-10
  • Certificates of completion from the US Play Coalition and Clemson University
  • Cost: $300.00 (groups of 10+ contact us for pricing)

Content Covered

Specific topics covered during the training include:

  • About PlayThe Importance of Play
    • Characteristics of Play
    • Types of Play
    • Examples of Play
  • Play and its Relationship to Stages of Child Development
    • Brief overview of child development characteristics
    • Role of play related to those characteristics
      Examples of suitable games and activities

Roles of Play Facilitator

  • Setting the Stage
    • Safety and security
    • Support for play environment
  • Overseeing Play
  • Directing vs. Supporting Play
    • Balance between both
    • Examples of situations where appropriate
    • Examples of facilitator’s behavior

About the Course Developers

IMG_7848Ellen O’Sullivan, Ph.D., CPRP

Ellen O’ Sullivan is a long time park and recreation professional who began her life’s work as a camp counselor and community recreation director and evolved to university professor and consultant.  Ellen has long believed in the power and promise, that parks and recreation holds for individuals, communities, and society overall. Her contributions to the field include authorship of several books on marketing, major role in the benefits movement, ground-breaking applied research in health using the innovative magnet center approach as well as her role supporting and sustaining community agencies as they strategically alter course to create a viable future in the health, livability, and vitality of communities.


Ryan Fahey

Ryan Fahey is a PE Specialist and Wellness Educator who has worked with the US Play Coalition since 2015.  He is passionate about all things wellness, play, and Physical Education focused. Ryan has worked in various non-profit and for-profit education delivery roles across the world. While teaching Physical Education in the Middle East, he authored his first two books on personal growth and development. When time allows, you can find Ryan running, working out with his wife, or reading a good book.

Fran Head Shot

Fran P. Mainella

Fran Mainella is a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Previously, she completed nearly six years as the 16th Director and the first woman to lead the National Park Service. Fran served twelve years as Director of Florida’s State Parks, which were awarded the Gold Medal Award, recognizing Florida as the best state park system in the country. 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.