Hi, wanted to introduce myself as one of the instructors of the Certified Play Expert training at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy in Philadelphia, PA and give you some rationale as to why this training has taken a priority within the educational efforts of ASTRA.

This certification is about play because that is what binds us all together. We are about play whether we are retailers, manufacturers or sales representatives. As a collective, we all believe in the importance of play; but I would argue that we all see play in slightly different ways. This Marketplace & Academy pre-conference workshop shares multiple perspectives about the deep and intricate study of play.

You see, you can look at it from a child development perspective and assess its value based on the physical, sensory, communicative, cognitive and social/emotional benefits it provides children.  However, there are other ways to frame the power of play. Play is also a way for children to learn about themselves and the world around them. Play can be looked at in a chemical way since participation in play can trigger hormones, endorphins and peptides that affect our moods and emotions. Play is a way to enrich our lives across the lifespan.

In the eleven years I have dedicated myself to the study of play, I am continually amazed at how much more there is to know, discover and realize about play. My awareness, understanding and knowledge continues to expand as new research unfolds whether it involves neuroscience or epigenetics, play plays a role! Even today, new research hopes to uncover how play can be used in a prescriptive, curative way.   In fact, my co-presenter Kerry Bauer uses play every day in a hospital setting as a Child-Life Specialist and will share some of her amazing stories during this training.

So, regardless where you are with your play knowledge spectrum, if you join us, you’re sure to see play in a whole new way and leave with nuggets of knowledge that can serve you, your business and your customers now and in the future. And since it’s about play, Kerry and I will be sure to make it fun–’cause that’s the easiest way to learn.

Join ASTRA on the Marketplace & Academy Connect Community and bring your questions to the upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) Thursday with CPE Workshop Facilitators, Jean Bailey and Kerry Bauer, on Thursday, May 11 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.