"We believe play is a foundational human need and an indispensable part of hands-on learning. Play in Education exists to equip and encourage teachers to fully engage the minds of their students by leveraging the power of play. We hope this website and this newsletter become that hand or that hug when you need it."
Our Play in Education Publisher is Mary Couzin. She is the founder of Play in Education and CEO and Founder of the Chicago Toy and Game Group which hosts the Chicago Toy and Game Fair held every year in Chicago. The event is the largest toy and game fair in North America and is the capstone of POP Week, which also includes Inventor Pitch and Innovation Conferences, the Toy and Game Innovation Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge and more. She is also the founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Foundation, a non-profit, philanthropic foundation promoting play and supporting children’s organizations. Her most recent initiative is People of Play - the largest platform of playful people in the world! www.peopleofplay.com
Our Play in Education Publisher is Rebecca Horrace. Rebecca holds both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, along with her Reading Specialist and Structured English Immersion Endorsements. She has taught elementary school, ran a homeschool cooperative program, and founded a 4-H club for military youth. She is now a lecturer of Literacy Methods for a local university and homeschools her two children - whom she gains all her playful inspiration from! Rebecca is also finishing her Doctorate in Education with Indiana University in the Literacy, Culture, and Language Education program with a research focus on the intersection of play and popular media with literacy components while utilizing technology to expand the definition of local by converting distant interactions into a common, shared space. It is Rebecca’s passion to reignite the dwindling spark between play and education along her career journey.
In this study, researchers found that playing board games twice a week increased the brain speed scores of elementary students by a staggering 27 – 32%! As an educator, those numbers are tough to discount.
Two studies in the journal Cognition (one from MIT and the other from UC-Berkeley) indicate that in some situations, direct teaching is inferior to experiential learning. Children who play develop a stronger sense of creativity and inquisitiveness. Here’s the Slate article which cites those studies.
Play isn’t just for elementary school, either. Take a moment to watch this TED Talks presentation, where Dr. Stuart Brown does a great job of showing us that play is for all ages.
We believe that play is every child's super power.
To Equip Educators with Playful and Powerful Tools for Teaching
"You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."