ASTRA’s 2017 Marketplace & Academy is offering nearly 500 exciting exhibits on the show floor along with more than 30 education sessions. I am honored to be a part of the Academy education offerings. I will be presenting, “Play as a Path: Emotional Intelligence from the Inside Out” with co-presenter, Dee Farrell of Neat-Oh! International, LLC. We are passionate about the power of play and excited to deliver content on social/emotional development as it connects to child development.

Emotional intelligence, referred to as “EI” or “EQ,” is an incredibly important skill and according to all the academics and researchers alike, is the greatest predictor of success in life. Evidence shows that 90% of top performers have high EQ.

This session will provide you with nuggets of knowledge you can share with customers and questions you can ask to help them select toys and games that can boost their kids’ EQ.

We as humans, exist in two completely different realms—thinking and feeling. In our society today, we spend a huge amount of time helping our kids think—our schools are dedicated to this endeavor. But there’s another realm that one could argue needs more substantial attention in children’s development, the feeling part of being human, our emotions. Interestingly, this skill is perhaps best learned outside of the classroom and on the playground.

Kids need to master their emotions, learn to express their feelings in appropriate ways and understand and empathize with those around them. Play is a way to learn that. It is our testing ground for life.

Our Marketplace & Academy session will explore some pretty cool territory, like reading facial expressions, connecting emotions to storytelling and meta-messaging which is a scholarly phrase for “reading body language.” We’ll even give you an easy assessment tool that provides a quick EQ overview you can use on yourself or others. Plus, we’ll play some interactive games where you will test some of the research EQ scholars have uncovered.

So, bring both your thinking and your feeling brain to this session and learn how toys, games and play can put kids on the fast track to emotional intelligence and create a good life from the inside out.

Join ASTRA on the Marketplace & Academy Connect Community and bring your questions to the upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) Thursday with Jean Bailey on Thursday, June 27 from 3-4PM Central. 

J. Bailey
Jean Bailey is a consultant to the toy industry and former director of the National Lekotek Center, a non-profit that works with children of all abilities utilizing toys and play. For the last decade she has promoted, studied, written articles and white papers and reviewed research on toys and play as it relates to child development. Learn more about EQ at Jean’s session “Play as a Path: Emotional Intelligence from the Inside Out” on Sunday, June 25 at 10:15am-11:45am.