Kids Just Want To Have Fun Save The Date

12th Annual Project ACT Early Childhood Conference

September 24, 2022



Abilities Network Project ACT is excited to be back for our 12th Annual Early Childhood Conference. This year's theme is play as an essential component of how we care for and education young children. 

Resources & Vendors • Raffles & Prizes • Learn from Home

6 COK Hours • Eligibility for 1 PAU for Attending a Local Conference

8:30 - Keynote Speaker

A More Playful Me

Patty Stine, Pure Play Every Day 

What would tomorrow be like if we took time to play today? As early childhood education professionals we encourage children to play every day because it helps them develop physical agility, problem solving skills, and social connection. Play provides these same benefits for adults.  During this session we will explore the broad definition of play, methods of play adults can utilize and engage in some play too!

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Morning Sessions

10:15 - 11:45

Stimulating Creativity and Exploration through Multiple Intelligences

Thelma Hayes & Erica Bates

1.5 Hours Curriculum

As a result of this training, participants will be able to define and give examples of Multiple Intelligence (MI), Identify their own personal learning styles/intelligences, and make connections between play, creativity, and exploration using Multiple Intelligences. In addition, participants will plan and implement ways to integrate and incorporate MI into centers, outdoor activities, purchases for play, games, and equipment. Lastly, participants will be able to use Multiple Intelligences knowledge and promote positive habits during play while decreasing negative behaviors among children.

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Nurturing Unique Growth: Using Play to Support Positive Self-Identity in Children with Disabilities

Stephanie Cooper & Cindy Miller

1.5 Hours Child Development

Play is one of the most inclusive pieces of our curriculum when used in an open-ended and natural way. Participants of this training will learn about how to universally design play opportunities to support positive self-identity in children with disabilities. We will discuss how play supports children’s positive view of themselves, what they are capable of, and a sense of belonging.

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Engage, Expand, Include: Using Invitations & Provocations to Include All Children

Morgan Horvath & Keshia Nelson

1.5 Hours Special Needs

Looking for lesson plan ideas that can be accessed by children of all abilities, ages, skill levels, language abilities and cultural backgrounds? All children can build on their existing strengths, feel successful, and exercise independence through intentional lessons that build on their emerging ideas and keep play as the focus. In this session, participants will discover how invitations and provocations support children’s development across domains and how to use these approaches to include and support children with special needs.

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Lunch Break, Networking & Virtual Vendors

11:45 - 12:45

Afternoon Sessions

12:45 - 2:15

Little Red Riding Hood Meets the Big Bad Wolf: The Development of Literacy Through Play

Maria Luz Valdez & Donna J. Satterlee

1.5 Hours Community

We will explore the development of pre-literacy through story- telling, including vocabulary development, sequencing events in a story, and coming together as a community to tell those stories. We will demonstrate easy custom construction for the educators, as well as giving them instructions that children can follow while they act out the story. This session will also include suggestions to incorporate family engagement for a fun event, making connections with the community and how to include community story- tellers in the classroom. We will include stories from the heritage languages of our students, bringing in cultural elements, shared stories and vocabulary in their family’s languages.

Outdoor Sensory Play

Angie Sparks & Stacy Vargo

1.5 Hours Child Development

We all know that outdoor play is important; yet it seems that there are many barriers to using outside time to its fullest potential.  In this session, we will discuss the benefits of outdoor play including risky play, being in natural environments, and participating in a multi-sensory approach to learning.  Did you know that outdoor sensory play can improve the mental health of children and adults?  We will chat about that, as well as how to make the most of your scheduled outdoor playtime.  Think there are too many obstacles?  We will brainstorm ways to overcome challenges that you may face.

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Playful Art

Anna Putnam & Cassandra La Bella

1.5 Hours Curriculum

One of the easiest ways for people of all ages to play is through art. Whether the medium is paint, clay, or nature items, art sparks creativity and imagination, which are important elements of play. Process art is arguably the most playful form of art, as the focus is on the experience of creating, not the end product. This session will outline how important playful art is for kids of all ages, how process art provides the opportunity for connections between kids and adults, as well as provide some super fun and easy art ideas for all ages.

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Afternoon Sessions

2:30 - 4:00

Learning to Play Through the Stages of Play

Dawn Baker

1.5 Hours Child Development

We will discuss the stages of play development and then create ways to help children as they grow through those stages.  This will include supporting children in each stage of play and helping children who are ready to transition to the next stage. We will also look at ways to use play stages in our assessments.

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The Growing Brain: Everyday Play

Jenna Miller & Jill Stark

1.5 Hours Child Development

This session looks at how different factors can promote or inhibit healthy brain development. Participants will also look at how play based learning influence brain development in a child.

STEAMing into the Future

Tamea Moore & Brittany Bracey

1.5 Hours Curriculum

Children will freely explore their environment and gain meaning in their world when given the opportunity. In this session, educators will learn to support children’s play by creating an integrated STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art, and math) environment, examining developmentally appropriate STEAM concepts and processes, and discussing STEAM classroom concerns (challenging behaviors, inclusion) and exploring STEAM resources.

Click here to download the presentation!