Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day FACE-TO-FACE Workshop) in Port Macquarie NSW, Thurs 1 – Fri 2 August 2024

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Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day FACE-TO-FACE Workshop) in Port Macquarie NSW, Thurs 1 – Fri 2 August 2024

August 1 @ 9:30 am - August 2 @ 4:30 pm


Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation

2 Day FACE-TO-FACE Workshop at Rydges Port Macquarie, NSW 

 Thursday 1 – Friday 2 August 2024

9:30am – 4:30pm each day

Presented by Emeritus Professor Karen Stagnitti


*Start and end times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, UTC+10:00



Learn To Play Therapy is a child-centred approach which aims to develop the capacity in children to spontaneously self-initiate their own pretend play. Being able to play is essential to children because through play children learn about themselves and their world. Pretend play is complex play and research has shown that children who develop more complex levels of pretend play increase in their abilities in social competence, narrative understanding, language, self-regulation, creativity, and problem solving. Not all children develop complex levels of pretend play. Reasons for this can be the child’s developing profile or daily experiences shaped by their environment. Learn To Play Therapy is an evidence-based therapy designed and implemented to support the development of more complex levels of spontaneous pretend play in a child.**


The Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist (PPE-DC) STARTER PACKAGE is included in the cost of the workshop, and will provided to registrants at the workshop. The Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist (PPE-DC) is an important tool in understanding children’s developmental play strengths and interests and is recommended if you wish to integrate play into your practice. The PPE-DC is used and referenced throughout the workshop.


The Face-to-Face training has 3 components:

1. Pre-workshop activities. This includes pre-recorded modules in power point presentation format. These modules explore the links between pretend play and language, narrative, self-regulation, theory of mind and social competence. A module exploring current understanding of the neurobiology of play is also provided. Relevant readings, and TED talks are also referenced.

2. An optional quiz designed to support a self-measure of your understanding of pre-workshop material. Participation in the quiz will also assist Learn To Play to tailor the workshop to your needs.

3. Two Day face-to-face workshop – followed by a Quiz to support completion of the workshop.


Day 1

  • Understanding the development of pretend play.
  • Observing and supporting emotional engagement in play.
  • Assessment of pretend play using the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist


Day 2:

  • Identifying children who would benefit from Learn To Play Therapy
  • The process and principles of Learn To Play Therapy
  • How to build play ability in children who find playing difficult
  • 11 key play skills


Day 1 provides participants with knowledge on the development of pretend play from 12 months to 5 years and how to use this knowledge to understand a child’s unique developing profile. Assessment of play using the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist (PPE-DC) will support assessment of children’s strengths and interests in play, and in particular pretend play. The pre-workshop activities include PowerPoint recordings on the links between pretend play, theory of mind, narrative language and self-regulation and self-esteem are also discussed.


Day 2 day focusses on the underlying principles of Learn To Play Therapy as a therapeutic medium. Participants are taken through the principles and process of this child-centred therapy, which includes 11 key play skills that are an essential part of a child’s ability to play. Guidelines on how to identify if Learn To Play Therapy is an important therapeutic approach for children are also provided.


The workshop consists of a mixture of lecture style presentation with question time available, case studies, video analysis and practice of the key skills involved in the process of Learn To Play Therapy. The practice is provided through small group work. This workshop would be valuable to therapists, social workers, psychologists and early intervention workers who work with families with children under 8 years of age who have concerns about their child’s abilities.


**The Learn To Play book: Learn to Play Therapy: Principles, Process and Practical Activities was published in 2021. This 314 page book explains the theoretical underpinnings, principles and process as well as includes an additional 114 pages of play activities by developmental level. Reproducible pages allowed are the play activities, parent handouts, and Play Background Checklist. This book is an essential reference source for Learn To Play Therapy. It will be available for purchase at the face-to-face workshop.



Karen Stagnitti is Emeritus Professor in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia. She is retired from full time teaching and research but continues to run workshops and write. She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland. For over 40 years she has mainly worked in early childhood intervention programs in community-based settings as part of a specialist paediatric multidisciplinary team. In 2003 she graduated from LaTrobe University with a Doctor of Philosophy. Her area of research is children’s play. Karen has over 150 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and books. She has developed several play assessments including: Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment, the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist and the Animated Movie Test. From this research, Learn To Play Therapy was developed. Throughout the year, she is still invited by national and international colleagues to contribute to books by writing book chapters or editing.



Rydges Port Macquarie
1 Hay Street
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444


August 1 @ 9:30 am
August 2 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play
View Organiser Website


Rydges Port Macquarie
1 Hay Street
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 Australia
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+61 2 6589 2888
View Venue Website


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Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day FACE-TO-FACE Workshop) in Port Macquarie NSW, Thurs 1 - Fri 2 August 2024
$ 860.00 GST incl
26 available

10% Group Discount
Organisations sending 5 or more staff members to the same workshop on the same date are entitled to a 10% discount off the total price. To apply for the discount please email Jessica directly at learntoplayevents@gmail.com.

Cancellation and refund policy
Please notify Jessica of any cancellations by email: learntoplayevents@gmail.com.
To receive a full refund please advise your cancellation 8 or more days prior to the commencement of the workshop.
Cancellations made within 7 days prior to the commencement of the workshop will be refunded 50% of the original workshop fee paid.
No refunds will be issued for cancellations made within 48 hours before the commencement of the workshop.
Learn to Play reserves the right to cancel the workshop and issue a full refund of the workshop fee to registrant.