PLAY Academy & Imagination Playground

Leo Buscaglia once said “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” Coinciding with a time when societal and educational trends were marginalizing children’s play, researchers were reporting creativity, problem solving, and nature deficits in young children.

As part of our advocacy efforts to reinstate play in the lives of children, the P.L.A.Y. Academy was founded to endorse open-ended materials and experiences that empowered creativity and inventiveness. A 15 session professional development series, the P.L.A.Y. Academy explores disciplines such as math, science and literacy in the context of play as well as the role of the practitioner as an advocate of play. The P.L.A.Y. Academy is offered each year to a cohort of students. 

Spurred by the donation of the Imagination Playground from The Grable Foundation, PAEYC initiated the practice of providing the Imagination Playground and Play Associate Training to its P.L.A.Y. Academy cohorts of teachers for one-month periods of time. The Imagination Playground is a larger than life, blue mobile block system where children can build, create and imagine. PAEYC has since expanded its outreach for loans to the Children’s Museum, the Carnegie Library and Museum and other community events as well as early childhood centers and school districts. 

For more information about the Academy or to experience the Play Associate training and to borrow the Imagination Playground, complete the professional services form