Our 2021 VIRTUAL Play Conference kicks off on April 1 (no joke!) with LIVE headliners, dozens of recorded educational and research presentations and weekly networking events – all online from April 1 through June 30, 2021.

“PLAY IS SURVIVAL” will explore play across the lifespan, play in the workplace, play in the classroom and address universal issues of access, equity, inclusion and more.

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


2021 VIRTUAL Play Conference Registration includes:
  • Access to all “Live” online presentations. These presentations will also be recorded and included in the 2021 Play Conference content.
  • Access to educational sessions and research symposium presentations to watch and learn at your own pace through June 30, 2021.
  • Access to “The Play Room,”  a weekly networking opportunity for conference attendees.
  • Invitation to join closed LinkedIn and Facebook groups for 2021 VIRTUAL 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 12th 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.

Featured Speakers

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 practical ways to integrate play.

“The Play Room”

“The Play Room” is an opportunity for registered 2021 VIRTUAL Play Conference Attendees to interact more directly with one another without a speaker, program or presentation. This is a chance to get to know each other professionally and personally and to make connections just as we would have if we were at the in-person conference.


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