Back in early 2018, myself and the fab Hannah O’Donnell from Empowering Early Years, sat round the kitchen table mulling over the idea of putting on a day that would celebrate play and give practitioners a real lift in the face of the multitude of challenges within their settings. With busy lives, we decided to press pause, clear the decks and return to the concept when we felt more able. Life being life. several months passed and the idea kind of got mothballed in the dark corners of our busy brains.
However, I was lucky enough to attend the Firm Foundations event at Early Excellence in London in the Summer, and whilst there, stumbled across what felt like the perfect format for a day’s CPD. On the train home to Devon, I sketched out a rough plan over the phone with Hannah. The time felt right, we felt right and now on November 17th 2018, Play2 will be a reality.
Out of those cobwebbed brain departments, a day that is jam-packed with energy and drive has emerged, with a line-up that offers a host of inspiration for the Early Years practitioner who is either in the full flow of play or the one who needs a boost in confidence to reignite their passion for play.
As a collective, we should be exploring how we can raise the profile of play and playfulness, how we can create a supportive network for one another that is open to debate and questioning, how we can try to change the direction of early education and further on, not as just one lonely voice but as a choir. Play2 feels like the beginning of this movement - something that brings together, celebrates, sparks us into life.
Play2 boasts an impressive line-up: from the passionate play advocacy of Ruth Swailes to the loose parts expertise of Topanga Smith, from the power of outdoor learning with the Muddly Puddles Teacher to the brilliance of woodworking with Pete Moorhouse amongst the speaker and workshops, we're convinced that the day will be something very special indeed.
The best thing is that Play2 isn't going to be a one-off, We want to 'roadshow' the concept around the UK if there are people out there who recognise the need in their own locality, who want to make a difference, no matter how small. Already we've been contacted by Early Years practitioners from Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cambridge and Hampsire asking if Play2 can make its way to them. This just adds to our commitment to ensure that Play2 becomes something that puts play in its rightful place - at the heart of practice and from the heart of practitioners.
Why not join us in Devon in November? It's a beautiful county, is easily accessed, and is a little bit like Narnia. Play2 will make it even more magical, so it'll be worth every mile here and back again...
Can I Go Play Now..? is committed to widening the understanding of the magic of children's play as an educational tool. Child-centred, play-based learning is where it's truly at....