Learn to Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day ONLINE Workshop) Thur 13 – Fri 14 April 2023

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Learn to Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day ONLINE Workshop) Thur 13 – Fri 14 April 2023

April 13, 2023 @ 9:30 am - April 14, 2023 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day ONLINE Workshop)

Thur 13 – Fri 14 April 2023

9:30am – 4:30pm

Presented by Dr Siobhan Casey and Bridget Sarah


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



Learn to Play Therapy 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 evidence has shown that children who develop more complex levels of pretend play increase in their abilities in social competence, narrative language, language, self-regulation, creativity, and problem solving. Not all children develop complex levels of pretend play. Reasons for this can be the child’s diagnosis (for example, children on the autism spectrum have difficulty developing spontaneous pretend play), the child’s environment, or no obvious reason. Learn to Play Therapy is an evidence-based therapy for developing 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 this workshop with free shipping, and will be posted out to registrants before the workshop. The Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist (PPE-DC) is recommended if you wish to integrate play into your practice, and is used during the workshop.


The online training has 3 components:

  1. Pre-workshop activities that include pre-recordings of powerpoint presentations, relevant readings and TED talks.
  2. Two Morning Powerpoint presentations
  3. Consolidation sessions are scheduled in the afternoon to consolidate material from the pre-workshop activities, Morning sessions and case studies, giving participants an opportunity to ask further questions and engage in discussion.


Day 1: Morning session and Consolidation open session

  • Pretend play and links to language, narrative, social skills, self-regulation and self-esteem Play and the brain (pre-workshop activities)
  • The development of pretend play
  • Assessment of pretend play using the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist


Day 2: Morning session and Consolidation open session

  • 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


The first Morning session of this 2 day workshop provides participants with knowledge on the development of pretend play from 12 months to 5 years and how to use this knowledge as an assessment of a child’s play ability using the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist**. 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.


The second Morning session of this 2 day workshop focusses on the Learn to Play Therapy approach and participants are taken through the principles and process of this therapy, which includes 11 key play skills that are an essential part of a child’s ability to play. Also in this workshop are guidelines on how to identify children who would benefit from Learn to Play Therapy.


The workshop uses a mixture of information giving, case studies, video analysis and practice of the key skills involved in the process of Learn to Play Therapy. The practice is through break out rooms on Zoom, where the presenter and co-host move from ‘room’ to ‘room’. 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 a developmental delay.


**The new 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. It comes with a USB that includes the play activities, parent handouts, and Play Background Checklist. This book is an essential reference source for Learn to Play Therapy.



Dr Siobhan Casey is a paediatric occupational therapist with experience in working with children, their families and teachers in a variety of settings. In 2018, Siobhan was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from Deakin University. Her research primarily focused on understanding the developmental processes that occur for self-regulation and pretend play capacities in supporting resilience in children. Her prior research included identifying important markers and processes for change, for children with Autism participating in the Learn to Play program. Siobhan has presented on pretend play development at conferences both nationally and internationally and enjoys delivering training to a wide range of audiences interested in promoting the opportunity for pretend play development in children. Siobhan has previously worked in early intervention community settings, private practice and specialist development schools. She is currently working within a mainstream school setting, supporting the implementation of pretend play within the curriculum. Siobhan continues to research the impact of pretend play development on global developmental functioning and has further interests in researching the role of pretend play development in supporting positive health and wellbeing across the lifespan.



Bridget Sarah is a paediatric Occupational Therapist and Masters qualified, Registered Play Therapist. Bridget has experience working with children and families in a diverse range of clinic, home, school and community settings where she has pursued her particular interest in the play of vulnerable children from backgrounds of disadvantage and disruption. Bridget is currently employed as a Lecturer and Researcher in Play Therapy at Deakin University where she provides education and supervision to play therapy students in the Graduate Certificate / Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play and Master of Child Play Therapy.

Bridget enjoys delivery training workshops both nationally and internationally, to a range of audiences, in particular allied health clinicians and those in education wishing to champion play in their early childhood and school settings. She feels passionate about the need to make a priority of addressing the mental health, social and emotional wellbeing needs of children and families in the community using developmentally sensitive and appropriate interventions. As an Occupational Therapist and Registered Play Therapist, Bridget is an integrative Play Therapist trained and experienced in the delivery of multiple play therapy models and approaches including the range of Learn to Play programs and assessment tools. Bridget’s research interests to date have focused on exploring the play abilities of children with acquired brain injuries, and how Play Therapists can use standardised assessment to measure play themes in play therapy to inform their clinical decision making and make sense of the messages that children communicate through their play.


April 13, 2023 @ 9:30 am
April 14, 2023 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play
View Organiser Website


Online workshop run via Zoom


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available

15% Group Discount
Organisations sending 5 or more staff members to the same workshop on the same date are entitled to a 15% 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.