1st International Athens Conference "Play on Early Education"
Day 3:                       Saturday April 13, 2019
08.45 - 09.45:          Early morning yoga class with Nicole Joannides (limited seats, booking required)
All-day Session:       Getting Play (keynote, presentations & workshops)
Duration:                  9.45 am- 6.00 pm
Keynote speaker:    Meynell Walter
Chair:                        Peter Gray
We talk about play being freely chosen. In this session, Meynell will talk a lot about what play truly is and rest of the presenters will argue on how it fits the learning process. They all are going to be challenging and provocative. They are going to try to shatter some myths and probably pose more questions than give answers. They will then try to respond to questions! The conference will end with a number of hands-on workshops, aiming to engage participants into innovative forms of freely chosen play.
10.00 - 11.00:  Keynote speech
“There is no such thing as Free Play!”
When talking about play I often hear people using the phrase 'free play' as if supposing that there is such a thing as structured play. There is either ‘play’ or ‘not play’ and to conflate play itself with other concepts such as ‘risky’, ‘nature’, ‘outdoor’ has the potential to be giving out the wrong messages about what play is, how it is experienced by children and the potential of play being hijacked by adults for their own purposes.
11.00 - 11.20:   Break
11.20 - 12.30:   Presentations         
   11.20   Ross Williams (Australia)
               “Is play-based learning leaving children’s learning a chance?”
   11.40   Elida Kalpogianni, PLAYING NGO (Greece)
               “Promoting Outdoor Play and Learning in Preschool: The Moving and Learning Outside Erasmus+ Project”
   12.00   John Yiannoudis & Dorothy Snot team (Greece)
               “Life-Derived Learning: playing in the real world”
12.35 - 13.00:   Q & A session
13.00 - 14.30:   Lunch break
14.30 - 18.00:   Workshops
Workshops aim to provide participants with hands-on experience on how non-directed play can be introduced into children life. We tried to include in this session innovative approaches & activities that will help us adults enhance our out-of-the-box thinking, when it comes to children's play.
Each workshop has its own requirements and its maximum number of participants. Some of them may overlap, while some others will be held twice or more during the afternoon. Please check the table below:
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"Playing in Nature"
Over the past decade there has been a growing international interest in nature settings for children. Why is this? How do children benefit from playing outdoors? What extra opportunities for learning and development does nature offer to children? What should pedagogues take into consideration if they are to create these opportunities? In this workshop we will play, we will share experiences and we solve problems in an attempt to get some answers to these questions.
Elias Karantoniou (Life-derived Learning with Bosch Power Tools)
“DIY with power tools in kindergarten”
Engaging children into DIY play on a free will basis, greatly enhances their creative thinking & problem solving attitude. Hardly they play afterwards with the item produced, since they have enjoyed most playing during the construction! Ilias will run the workshop in Bosch stand to show how the use of power tools in class can be a mind bloqing experience for kids.
“Light & shadows”
How do we learn through playing with light and shadows? How do we make the experience meaningful and relevant? A workshop to find answers to these and other questions through four stations of light & shadow exploration: Hephaestus workshop, Daedalus labyrinth, The flight of Icarus & The Art of Athena! All focusing in the use of sustainable material.
“Ringworld as an interactive and adventurous play space”
The aim of Ringworld is to provide an environment in which all children can play. We understand that play is something that children do, that they are in control of, that they make the choices about what they do, when they do it, and how they do it. Children’s play is not controlled or led by adults. Meynell, Tilia & Midah will spread out a ringworld inside conference room and let you get play!

Ndioba Ngom, Jenny Diamantopoulou & Stavroula Gaoutsi (Life-derived learning concept)
“Feel the Rhythm: playing the Djembe in Early Education”
A stunning workshop on how the rhythm and the use of djembe and other percussions in class may be a great play and skills' development tool. A group of kids from Dorothy Snot preschool will be in the workshop, too. Adults participants will understand methods & techniques on how to use the djembe in class. Plus, it will be lots of fun!
What is Mindfulness? What is the meaning of  teaching with a Mindfully way our students? Why is it a useful tool for  educators? What is the benefit  and outcome by being Mindful for the children themselves? Which are the tools that we use in class? How we use, why and when?
Participants will have the opportunity to be engaged with Mindful exploration and find out how it be turned into a class tool.
"Learning through Play"
A workshop to demonstrate how children may become creative, engaged and lifelong learners by using the famous LEGO® Brick in fully interactive hands-on, minds-on activities. We will welcome you in our brand-new Brick-made fun park where you will practice STEAM concepts and turn your ideas in action. Be ready to get on board in the newest creative, intuitive and versatile Coding Express, a preschool solution that supports the development of children’s early coding skills such as Problem-solving, Computational thinking and using digital tools to design and express ideas while develop early literacy and language skills through play".
18.00 - 19.00:   Closing Party with Ndioba Ngom
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Session Price: 85€
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