Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day ONLINE Workshop) Wed 21 – Thurs 22 Feb 2024

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Learn To Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation (2 Day ONLINE Workshop) Wed 21 – Thurs 22 Feb 2024

February 21 @ 9:30 am - February 22 @ 4:30 pm


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

Wednesday 21 – Thursday 22 February 2024

9:30am – 4:30pm (AEDT) each day

Presented by Dr Siobhan Casey and Dr Chloe Wadley


*Start and end times are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, UTC+11:00



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 be posted out to registrants before 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 online 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 online 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 (PPE-DC)


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 supported break out rooms on Zoom. 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, available for purchase here: 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.



Dr. Siobhan Casey is a paediatric occupational therapist and Masters qualified play therapist with 18 years of experience in working with children, their families and teachers in a variety of settings. In 2018, Siobhan was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy under the supervision of Emeritus Prof. Karen Stagnitti. Her research primarily focused on understanding the developmental processes of pretend play and self- regulation in supporting the capacity of resilience. Her prior research included identifying important markers and processes for change, for neurodivergent children participating in Learn To Play. Siobhan has presented on pretend play development at conferences both nationally and internationally and enjoys delivering training to a wide range of audiences. She has previously worked in early intervention community settings, private practice and, both mainstream and specialist development schools. She is passionate about promoting positive social and emotional wellbeing for children through providing services that are appropriate, purposeful, and sensitive to the needs of children and their families. Siobhan has recently co-authored a book ‘Learning Through Play in the Primary School’ and continues to research the role of play in supporting child development and building positive relationships.



Dr Chloe Wadley is a paediatric Occupational Therapist who has completed her PhD in Learn To Play Therapy in Specialist Schools for neurodiverse children supervised by Dr Karen Stagnitti. Chloe works as a paediatric occupational therapist within the community, home, clinic, school, kindergarten, and childcare settings. Chloe specialises in Learn To Play Therapy within her occupational therapy practice. Chloe runs both individual and group Learn to Play for pre-school and primary school children. Chloe is also a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Deakin University and involved in the supervision of Masters of Play Therapy students. Chloe has extensive training and clinical practice in the use of play assessment tools and Learn To Play therapy. Chloe enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills through delivering workshops to a range of audiences interested in Learn To Play. Chloe’s research to date has focused on Learn To Play within school and group settings.


February 21 @ 9:30 am
February 22 @ 4:30 pm


Online workshop run via Zoom


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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.