9:00 AM09:00

Materials and Prompts Workshop : North Coast, Oregon

  • 90525 Logan Road Astoria, OR, 97103 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join me in Astoria, Oregon for a morning of playful, hands-on explorations of materials in the Early Childhood curriculum!

Children are wired to explore their world through play.  Yet, with increasing pressure for young children to engage with early academics for school readiness, children's time is more structured, giving them less time to engage playfully with their world to make meaning.

In this workshop, teachers will immerse themselves in play with materials to make a personal reconnection with the role of play in learning.  There will be interesting and engaging play materials and prompts to inspire and ignite creative work and problem solving.  Participants will play, reflect, and plan how to infuse play throughout their curriculum.

This workshop includes:

  • Lots of hands-on play!
  • Sourcing free- and low-cost materials
  • Curating materials for children's deep, focused engagement
  • Understanding the importance of child-led free play in learning and development
  • The role of the adult in free play
  • Making play-based learning visible (documentation)

Participants will receive a one-year membership to Bakers and Astronauts online workshops, included with their registration!


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Teacher Playdate : Light and Shadow
6:00 PM18:00

Teacher Playdate : Light and Shadow

This Teacher Playdate is a hands-on exploration of light and shadow!

In this workshop, you'll explore play prompts and invitations centered around explorations of light and shadow to inspire your curriculum for two- to five-year-olds.  You'll learn through hands-on play, just like the kids do!

When: Tuesday, December 12, 6 pm - 8 pm

Where: Play Lab, 215 W. Holly St., #B28, Bellingham, WA 98225

Cost : $30

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to Oct 28

WAEYC Annual Conference

I am sharing two sessions at the annual WAEYC Conference in Lynnwood, WA this year.  These sessions offer MERIT Hours for Washington Early Educators.

Friday, October 27 : Full day, hands-on Play Lab for Educators, 10:30 am - 5 pm

Play Lab is a curated installation of materials, offered to the audience for play however they would like. The session is an opportunity to spark practitioners' imaginations, developing a curiosity about materials by interacting with them!

Educators can interact with colleagues and co-teachers, learning new and out-of-the-box ideas for open-ended play in the classroom. Play prompts will include (but are not limited to) light and shadow; cardboard play; tabletop loose parts; and clay experiences.  Experience materials in a brand new way, and refresh your classroom experience for yourself and your students.

Saturday, October 28 : The Secret Life of Materials8:30 am - 10:30 am

In this session, Participants will explore open-ended materials through play. Can materials do more than we expect them to?  How can we curate materials in the classroom environment for children’s deep engagement? Participants will learn about sourcing free- and low-cost materials for their setting, and deepen their understanding of the endless potential of materials.

This session includes an element of reflective practice, with educators making deep connections with their own play ideas and preferences to gain an understanding of how those personal values affect planning and implementing play-centered curriculum.

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Teacher Playdate : Art Materials
6:00 PM18:00

Teacher Playdate : Art Materials


Do you ever feel like you are in a rut with art materials in the classroom?  

Are you interested in giving children to freedom to explore art materials independently rather than planning for identical products from all children?  

Teacher Playdate : Art Materials challenges Early Childhood Educators to look at materials like paint, clay, paper, and wire with fresh eyes to bring new experiences to children 2-5 years old.  The majority of our time is a playdate, where you'll engage in hands-on play, tinkering, and making with interesting materials and gain a deeper understanding of how they might source and offer materials in new ways in the classroom.  You will also be part of a group discussion about:

  • how to compliment your current curriculum with open-ended art making experiences
  • simple documentation / making children's play-based learning visible
  • common barriers to implementing child-centered curriculum

Participants will receive a goody bag of materials to take back to the classroom, and be invited to an online community discussion forum to continue the conversation about implementing the ideas in the classroom.  

Washington State STARS/MERIT Hours are available (2 hours)

When: Tuesday, October 24, 6-8 pm

Cost : $30

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10:30 AM10:30

Connecting the Pieces

I'll be leading two sessions at the annual Connecting the Pieces conference, hosted by sd35 in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Session 1 : Playful Communities

We are members of multiple communities: cities, neighbourhoods, schools, classrooms, and more. How can we engage communities of all sizes with interactive experiences to communicate the power of play-based learning? This session is an opportunity to revisit the joy of true play, and take away ideas for engaging your community through play.

You will see vivid examples of hands-on, interactive play installations created for children and families, and explore materials and provocations. Engage in dialogue around translating these large-scale examples of open-ended community play to other groups: for example, stations in a classroom, or a classroom or school event to engage families. Come prepared to play with interesting ideas and materials!

Session 2 : Reflection and the "Teacher Self"

As educators, we are always thinking about children. In this workshop, participants will explore the idea of the “teacher self” through play and writing. Participants will explore their own ideas, questions, biases, joys, and ideas about teaching practice. Why do we make the decisions we make? What are we drawn to, and what are we afraid of? This session is an opportunity to reflect and think, and to learn about structures and practices that can make reflection a regular part of your teaching practice—it is simpler and more rewarding than you think!

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