Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network, Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, and Trying Together joined together in February 2021 for a virtual conference bringing together educators, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss and share best practices to support children and families in learning through play.

Presentation Spotlight

Check back later to see more presentations from our Conference Speakers. For access to full recordings, contact

February 3, 2021
Event Ended

Rethinking Education During and Post COVID-19

Children authentically learn through play. Developmentally appropriate practices allow for multiple opportunities for personal, meaningful play experiences in and out of the classroom – but what has this looked like during the pandemic and remote learning? This workshop will discuss how schools and community organizations have supported children’s growth and learning throughout the pandemic – as well as share key takeaways and what the future holds for teaching and learning through play.

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Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Temple University

Dr. Scott Miller

Avonworth Primary Center

Jen Schnakenberg

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

February 4, 2021
Event Ended

How Play Can Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing

Children make sense of what’s happening in the world around them through play, and it impacts their mental health and wellbeing. This workshop will discuss how essential play and positive relationships are in supporting children’s learning and impact their mental health and overall wellbeing.

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Cindy Eggleton

Brilliant Detroit

Sarah Grubb

Early Learning Resource Center Region 5

Sheba Gittens

Community Artist

February 4, 2021
Event Ended

Addressing Equity Issues Through Playful Learning

The freedom to play improves children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. All children deserve equitable opportunities to experience the joy of playful learning. This workshop will focus on resources and strategies to promote equitable and meaningful learning opportunities.

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Dr. Nikole Hollins-Sims

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

Dr. Mandy Maguire

University of Texas at Dallas

February 9, 2021
Event Ended

Activating Communities Around Playful Learning

Play fosters opportunities for children to learn and develop communication, problem solving, and creativity skills. What does it look like for communities to elevate playful learning?  This workshop will highlight ways individuals and organizations can activate playful learning including the why and how.

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Ariana Brazier

ATL Parent Like a Boss

Bettye Ferguson

Belmont Alliance Civic Association

Justin Forzano

Open Field

Shari Hersh & Gamar Markarian

Mural Arts

Sarah Siplak

Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative

February 10, 2021
Event Ended

Using Technology to Strengthen the Way We Learn and Play

Now more than ever technology has become a tool for learning. This workshop will discuss strategies to use technology in developmentally appropriate ways to engage children and families in learning. Participants will also be encouraged to think outside the box about forms of technology and how creative and imaginative play helps children connect learning objectives to real world application.

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Elias Blinkoff

Temple Infant & Child Lab

Katie Gullone

Trying Together

Keith Griffin & Javier Maisonet


Karishma Menon & Simran Mulchandani

Project Rangeet, India

Megan Rooney

La Escuelita Arcoiris

February 10, 2021
Event Ended

Replicable and Low-Cost Ideas for Playful Learning

Play is not about expensive equipment or materials; playful learning happens all around us with everyday items. This workshop will serve as an idea generator as panelists share strategies for replicable and low-cost ideas for playful learning.

Rebecca Fabiano

Fab Youth Philly

Amy Kronberg

Learn to Earn Dayton

Shannon Merenstein

HATCH Art Studio

Aishwarya Narayana & Shashwath Ravisundar