We are thrilled to announce the FIRST EVER ONLINE 2020 Conference on  the Value of Play!

This new play conference format is in response to the rapid pace of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The US Play Coalition leadership feels strongly that our conference takes on a new importance at times like these. Play is a valuable tool people can use to help address anxious times, and a necessary release when isolated at home.

Our 2020 ONLINE Play Conference will have dozens of recorded educational and research symposium sessions as well as a few “live” Zoom presentations leading up to the official launch.  All “live” Zoom presentations will be recorded and included in our online conference launch (hopefully!) on April 15.

We hope you will engage with us virtually in the interest of public health, wellness, safety and education!!!

ONLINE Conference Registration includes:

  • Access to all “Live” online presentations, including Lise Aangeenbrug on March 30, Michael Hynes (date TBD) and more. These presentations will also be recorded and included in the 2020 ONLINE Play Conference content.
  • Access to view 50+ recorded educational and research symposium sessions to watch and learn at your own pace through June 30, 2020  (estimated online conference launch is April 15).
  • Invitation to join a closed LinkedIn group for 2020 ONLINE Play Conference attendees to connect with PLAY colleagues, share resources and engage around the VALUE of play year-round!

The annual Conference on the Value of Play, now in its eleventh year, brings together leading 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 globe.  “PLAY FOR ALL” will explore play across the lifespan and address universal issues of health, education, access, equity, inclusion, design and more.

Lise Aangeenbrug
Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association

LIVE on Zoom, Monday, March 30 at 10:30am EDT/7:30am PDT
“Getting Kids, Families and Communities PLAYING Outside”
Registered online conference attendees will receive Zoom details by email.

Recording will be included in the Online Play Conference content.

Read on…

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools (NYC Area) & Public School Advocate

“Creating a School Vision of PLAY and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education”

PLUS a LIVE Round Table for School Administrators – date TBD as Dr. Hynes is currently focused on managing his NY school district’s closure due to COVID-19. DETAILS TO COME!

Learn more…

Featured Speakers

  • “The Power of Playful Learning”
    Megan Oteri, Founder/CEO,
    Brick Scholars
    “LIVE” on Zoom, Monday, April 6, 10:30am EDT/
    7:30am PDT

    Recording will be included in the Online Play Conference content.

  • “Magic of Play and Play Workshops”
    Yesim Kunter, play expert and futurist (England)

  • “Changing the 2020 World of Play”
    Yvonne Overmaat, president, YALP, Inc. (Netherlands)

  • “Engaging State Policymakers with Outdoor Play: Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook”
    Martin LeBlanc, Principal at LBC Action and James E. King Jr., researcher, environmental activist, and cultural responsiveness facilitator

  • “Do They Even Know About Play?: Ways to Help Young Adults Reconnect with Play”
    Heather VonBank, Brad Putman, Erica Walker, Alison Leonard, Pam Davis

  • “National Study of Playgrounds”
    Meghan Talarowski, MLA, CPSI
    Founder and Director, Studio Ludo

  • “A Community Within: Black Child Play as Response and Protest”
    Ariana Brazier, PhD Candidate and Julia Brazier, Auburn University Family Child Care Partnerships


  • “The Power of Play for ALL Ages”
    Julie P. Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, Converse College and Jed Dearybury, Director of Creativity at www.mrdearybury.com

Research Symposium & Educational Sessions

The Play Research Symposium provides opportunities for a scholarly exchange surrounding play.

Educational Sessions are opportunities to share and discover innovative play strategies and play research.

Stay tuned for a schedule overview.

Session Themes

All our sessions will be classified into the following themes to help attendees find the sessions that most interest them:

Education & Play – Play is a vital part of the learning equation, both in and out of the classroom. The faces of those learning while at play are some of the most engaging! Consider play as a vehicle for learning through both traditional and nontraditional settings including schools, camps, afterschool programs, museums, zoos, aquariums, parks & recreation departments, faith-based spaces, and more.

Health, Recreation & Play – Play is a building block for healthy living. Examine health and physical activity trends related to play, healthy benefits of play, and the intersection of health and recreation to insure a healthy face of play.

Nature Based & Outdoor Play – The faces of play are often wet, muddy, and sun-glistened from hours spent outdoors. Focus on play in nearby and far away nature–backyards, parks, creeks, lakes, trails, wetlands, and beyond.

Accessible & Inclusive Play – Play should be accessible, available, and open to all. Advance the field for play for all abilities, all shapes, all sizes, all colors.

Multi/Intergenerational & Adults at Play – Promoting play throughout life is our mission. Explore how adults (college-aged to retirees) play and how adults share and benefit from play with children.

Designing for Play – Landscape architects, architects, designers, city planners, and civic groups are invaluable experts, practitioners and resources for PLAY. These sessions will be submitted for LACES and AIA CEU approval.

Emerging Trends in Play – Play is changing! The Play movement is growing! Explore the latest in play- technology, social media, politics, policies, and more.

International/Global Play – Play looks very different around the world. Share play practices, history, and culture from countries across the globe.

Nuts & Bolts – From play basics to play essentials. Share tips, trainings, techniques and tools for PLAY

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Play Collaborators