"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."
Mary Couzin is the founder of Play in Education. She is also CEO and Founder of the Toy and Game Group which hosts the Chicago Toy and Game Fair held every year at the Navy Pier in Chicago. The event is the largest toy and game fair in North America and is the capstone of CHITAG Week, which also includes Inventor Conferences, the Toy and Game Inventor Expo 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.
Tim Walsh is the editor and content curator for Play in Education. He is also a game designer, author, filmmaker and professional speaker. The games he’s designed or co-designed have sold over seven million copies around the world. His books have been praised by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and NPR. His lectures on the value of play and connection are the culmination of a 28-year career advocating play and creativity. In 2016, he co-founded Getta1Games with Dennis and Crystal Callaghan. He and his wife Sarah have been married for 23 years and they have two epic daughters.
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."