October #WePlayChat: Growing Empathy Through Nature-Based Play

Join us on Twitter Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT for the next installment of our monthly #WePlayChat.  We are honored to welcome Daniel W. Hatcher to the main stage to discuss the topic, “Growing Empathy Through Nature-Based Play.”


Daniel W. Hatcher is the Director of Community Partnerships at the Alliance For A Healthier Generation where he has served since 2008. At Healthier Generation, Daniel oversees out-of-school time partnerships and manages technical assistance services and resources for before and after school and summer programs as they work to achieve national standards for healthy eating and physical activity. Daniel has a BA in International Relations and a Masters of Public Health, both from Western Kentucky University. You can follow Daniel as he speaks across the country on the topic of healthy communities via Twitter @hatchdw.

Here are the questions we will be covering during this #WePlayChat:

Q1. How is playing in nature supporting your mental and physical health right now?

Q2. Why is it important to help children have playful experiences in nature?

Q3. Who can we work with to ensure all children have access to safe nature-play experiences?

Q4: As the weather changes, what are your favorite indoor nature-based activities?

How can you participate in #WePlayChat?

Want to join the global conversation around the value of play!?  When it is time for the chat, login to Twitter, and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply, and retweet. Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the field of play. Launched in 2016, it is the longest-running monthly play-based chat in the world.

Our #WePlayChat participants come from 33 countries, spanning multiple 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.

Learn more about #WePlayChat online by clicking here.

February #Weplaychat with The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)

Please join us on Wednesday, February 27th at 12:00pm EST as we discuss, “Play Across The Lifespan” with Ahren Hoffman from ASTRA! Ahren is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and Certified Play Expert (CPE) and began her career in the toy industry in 2007. In her past role as Manager

of Industry Relations & Partnerships at the National Lekotek Center, Hoffman evaluated toys and play products beneficial for all children of all abilities, at AblePlay.org, a project of Lekotek. Hoffman also provided support services to members of the toy industry to share the developmental potential and possibility of toys and play products for children. These collaborations allowed Hoffman to contribute to the creation of multiple toy gui
des and have the opportunity to be published in a manual related to the benefits of sensory play. Hoffman is active in the lecture circuit presenting to organizations and professionals in the field of child development as well as within the toy industry creating presentations and webinars for retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives. Hoffman also regularly contributes to a variety of print and online publications to advocate for the power of toys and play. Hoffman received her Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology at Central Michigan University.

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

  • Q1. Why is play across the lifespan so important?
  • Q2. What do play patterns look like across the lifespan?
  • Q3. What exactly is ‘play’ and what can you do to play across your lifespan?
  • Q4. What are the benefits of play for people of all ages and abilities?

#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.