December 22, 2022

2023: Your Year for Playful Learning

Megan Siwek

No New Years’ Resolution yet? Do not worry—we have you covered!

This New Year, we invite you to join us on our journey to build a future in which playful learning empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners!

We know—this may exceed the bounds of traditional resolutions and seem a bit ambitious. That’s why we have curated a simple step you could take toward this goal: sign up for the Playful Schools Conference!  Join us March 27-29, 2023, to learn from and with playful practitioners worldwide.

We know—a three-day conference hosted in Billund, Denmark, is not exactly what you would consider a simple commitment. However, the conference is free, virtual, and has two different time slots, 9:00-11:00 CET or 16:00-18:00 CET, for global accessibility. It is also emceed in English, and simultaneously translated into Mandarin if you join the 9:00 CET time slot and Spanish if you join the 16:00 CET slot.

We know—you may have other obligations during these hours and cannot commit to the entire block of time. That is why we are working on releasing a complete conference program in January, so you can choose the sessions that best fit you and your journey.

We also have the perfect opportunity for folks already incorporating playful learning and looking to take a more significant leap this year. We are currently running an open call for “lightning” presentations that showcase inspiring examples of educators facilitating learning through play experiences in schools. If this interests you, we are excited to share more information here. Please note the first step to being considered for the program is due by January 25, 2023!

If you are still unsure, we have a few more details that might convince you! Titled, Play to change the world: Quality education for all, the conference aligns with the United Nations Sustainability Goal (SDG) 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The conference aims to inspire, empower and connect practitioners. It is hosted by The LEGO Foundation, Harvard Project Zero and International School of Billund. Here are some additional highlights:

Day One: More than one way to play features workshops from different cultural contexts, age groups, and disciplines that illustrate practices to support playful learning for children and adults. Because it is often seen as a barrier to playful learning, the topic of assessment is addressed in a roundtable conversation.
Day Two: Play with a purpose invites us to take a step back from classrooms and schools to highlight the value of play as a strategy for learning. You will hear from artists and designers who use play in their work; you’ll encounter research on how play supports learning; and you’ll participate in workshops where you get to play and reflect on how this play supports learning.
During Day Three: Play to change the world, we return to classrooms and schools with content focused on target 7 of SDG 4. We explore how playful learning can promote global citizenship, an appreciation of cultural diversity, and sustainable development and lifestyles.

At the end of each day there will be an optional 30-minute reflection group to help you consider the conference content. If you are coming to the conference on your own, you will have an opportunity to join a reflection group with educators from around the world. If you are coming as part of a group of educators who work together, you can use this time to talk about implications of the conference for your context. For all reflection groups, we will provide suggestions on how you can organize your time. In the coming months we will share more about these groups.

If you have any questions about the Playful Schools Conference, or if you are in need of support, please reach out to