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PLAY Chapter

Welcome to the FLAEYC Play Chapter!

We all know that young children need to develop a variety of skill sets to optimize healthy development and manage stress. Research confirms and central to the FLAEYC philosophy is that appropriate PLAY with peers, parents and teachers is a vital way to promote the social-emotional, cognitive, language, self-regulation skills that build healthy executive function and a prosocial brain. Furthermore, PLAY strengthens resilience and nurtures safe, stable, positive relationships that young children need to thrive.

If you are passionate about PLAY, like we are, then we invite you to join our Chapter. Details about who we are, when and where we meet are provided below.


What is FLAEYC PLAY Chapter?

The FLAEYC PLAY Chapter is a statewide community of practice designed as a professional support system to help teachers and parents strengthen play as an essential developmentally appropriate practice of high quality early education programs. The PLAY Chapter is part of the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children. 

If you are a member of FLAEYC and interested in helping to strengthen play in the lives of children become an active participant in the PLAY Chapter! We would love to have you join us!

Vision: Respect and safeguard the child’s right to play through Leadership, Play Education, Advocacy, and Professional Development.

Mission: Communicate with teachers, parents, program directors, and the broader community the critical importance of quality play experiences for young children in all areas of development, including social-emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual with emphasis on resilience and discovery learning.


Core Activities

At a time when early childhood programs are pressured to add more didactic prescriptive teaching and less playful learning, the PLAY Chapter serves an important role in emphasizing a balanced curriculum that includes quality playful hands-on learning for the promotion of healthy child development. 

  1. Promote PLAY Chapters in other NAEYC affiliates as leaders in the area of child-directed, play-based learning to meet the Vision and Mission.

  2. The PLAY Chapter hosts the “PLAY Space” during the FLAEYC Annual Conference to highlight the fundamental importance of play. Participants experience the benefits of play first-hand and to get ideas to take back to their own homes, classrooms, centers and schools.

  3. The PLAY Chapter offers information, resources, and hands-on play education experiences needed to promote and sustain play as a “best practice” in the early years of learning.

  4. Monthly PLAY Chapter Meetings (check your email for latest Membership Monday announcement)

  5. Book Study: Play based theory and practice (more info coming soon)

  6. Annual FLAEYC Conference from October 13-16, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. PLAY Space will run October 14-15, 2022. (more info below)

  7. Other Hands-On, Online Learning Learning PLAY Opportunities: ex. Puppet making, Open Ended Creative Art, Cardboard Carpentry Follow our Facebook and Instagram for details.


Play Space at the FLAEYC Conference

For two full days, conference participants are free to drop-in, hang-out, engage and enjoy a range of unique and exciting hands-on play activities set up within the PLAY Space. As a hands-on professional development strategy, the PLAY Space is a fun “makers-space”, an oasis of open-ended, hands-on play experiences facilitated by experienced early childhood play coach volunteers.

Teachers Comments from the PLAY Space:

  • I explored the batteries, circuits, and motors. I hooked them together, so they connect. I used a toy to move my arms. I used a bell that made a loud noise. Then I used a sound speaker to connect. I loved them all and had so much fun. I will have this part of my stations on how to make electricity and circuits.

  • The light and shadow theater play are fun, then adding colors and shapes make it even more fun! I think I’m going to get something like that for my kids.

  • Everyone’s structures were different. You can create patterns and practice basic engineering principles. I also really like that pieces can be reused many times over.

  • I will let the kids take things apart, so they can learn what is inside then see what they can make from it


Chapter Leaders

Walter F. Drew, Ed.D. PLAY Chapter Lead FacilitatorInstitute for Self-Active Education/Dr. Drew’s

Juelie Perry, PLAY Chapter Facilitator & Chapter Advisory Council RepresentativeInspiretoimpactconsulting@gmail.comwww.Inspiretoimpact.netTrainer/Speaker/Storyteller

Paola Lopez, PLAY Chapter Program Director, Kinderoo Children’s Academy, Inc.

Jacqueline Moreno, Ph.D. Play Chapter Facilitatorjmoreno@remlearningcenter.comDirector-REM Learning Center, South Inc.Co-Founder – Play Make Share



American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report, (2018), The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children, Volume 132/Issue 3Sutton-Smith, B. (2008) 

Play Theory: A personal Journal and New Thoughts. American Journal of Play, 1 (1). P80-123

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