Welcome to the 2022 Free to Play Summit!

Your 4-Day Guided Virtual Experience With:

  • 16 Deep-Dive Sessions with Leading Experts in the Field
  • 6 Play Labs into the Head, Heart, & Hands of Play
  • Your very own Personalized Playbook to begin implementing new play practices into your classroom immediately 

You don’t need another summit of 30+ talking heads.

It’s Time For Something More.

For the Educators, Directors, and Parents Who Want to Take the Frustration, Overwhelm, and Guesswork Out of Play-Based Learning.

May 14-17, 2022

100% online & available worldwide

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Produced by Fairy Dust Teaching

Featuring 16 Experts on the Power of Play

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    Learn the profound power of play on the growth and development of young children.

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    Discover the latest science on the impact of play on school readiness.

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    Understand how play builds the cognitive, emotional, and physical growth of the young child.

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    Deepen your understanding of play and BUILD your own Playbook - a manifesto of play.

Kids climbing tree
Kids feet

Visit 6 Play Labs and actually play!

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    Are YOU ready to play? An experience awaits! Throughout the Summit, we have Play Labs at the ready for you to explore things like mark making, paint, clay, and so much more.

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    These guided explorations will not only give you the experience with the medium itself, but also ideas to take directly into your classroom.

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Gain Incredible Access to 16 Leading Experts In The Field of Play

Gain leading-edge insights about the brain science of play from a carefully-selected panel of renowned authors, scientists and experts.

Build Your Own Personalized Playbook

Learn powerful new strategies custom-cut to YOU, then map out their implementation in your teaching practice.

Free Access to Each Session for 24 hours

Enjoy each day’s sessions anytime, day or night – from anywhere worldwide – for a full 24 hours.

If you’re ready to experience a Summit like no other, to actually get your hands messy in the play lab, to learn from and be guided by world-class experts, then you’re ready for FREE TO PLAY 2022.

Over 4 days, you’ll listen in on 16 dynamic conversations with our global panel of experts. Not to replicate their approach — but to use their expertise to build your own playbook.


As you build your personal playbook, you’ll identify what will guide your practice, and specifically how that will look in your classroom.


Piece by piece, day by day, we’ll help you borrow new insights and the latest research, then combine them with your own ideas — so you can construct your bespoke playbook for teaching through play, your way.


Claim Your Free Seat!

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Share this event with friends and colleagues!

"This was a gift of love for educators. Every day was an evolution for me personally and as an educator. All of the speakers were Five Star with a depth of knowledge, love and commitment to give students and families their best. This was more than just a summit. It was a call to protect play because "Childhood Matters". Thank-you for this six day gift and I will share it with my students, families, colleagues and our school district in Boston."

–Alicia C.

"This Summit is always a great reminder of why I do what I do. We all work together to make a difference in learning through play. Understanding how each child learns, through hands-on exploration! Each speaker just kept adding a wonderful perspective of the growth of Child through different elements!! I look forward to many more to come."

–Gabriela O.

Meet this year’s panel of experts and your partners in play:

Day 1: The Head

The Brain Science Behind Play

Nathan Wallis
Nathan Wallis

Neuroscience Educator

Dr. Gill Francis

Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Researcher

Stuart Brown_auto_x2
Dr. Stuart Brown

National Institute for Play

Dr. Dee Coulter
Dr. Dee Coulter

Neuroscience Educator

Play Labs

Making Marks
Playing With Mark Making

Explore a variety of marks and mark-making tools.

Loose Parts
Playing With Loose Parts

Experience the power of open-ended materials.

Day 2: The Hands

The Physical Benefits of Play

Sally Goddard Blythe
Sally Goddard Blythe

The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology

Lynnette Arthur
Lynnette Arthur

Preschool Diversity and Equity Coordinator

Carla Hannaford
Dr. Carla Hannaford

International Consultant & Biologist

Suzanne Down
Suzanne Down

Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts

Play Labs

Playing With Paint

Explore a variety of paint processes and techniques.

Playing With Photography
Playing With Photography

Discover the power of photography as a medium of play.

Day 3: The Heart

The Social/Emotional Benefits of Play

Kimberley Crisp

International Trainer in Early Childhood

Screen Shot 2022-04-04 at 1.09.33 AM
Dr. Nefertiti Poyner

Devereux Center for Resilient Children

Sandra Duncan
Dr. Sandra Duncan

International Consultant and Author

Molly Lannon Kenny

Cedarsong Way/Autism Specialist

Play Labs

Playing With Drumming
Playing With Drumming

Find the power of drumming with a variety of processes and techniques for your class.

Playing With Play Dough
Playing With Play Dough

Unlock the potential of play dough as a 3D medium.

Day 4: Nature

The Power of Nature in Early Childhood

Suzette Salmon
Suzette Salmon

Nature-Based Home Daycare Owner

Megan Zeni
Megan Zeni

Play Researcher

Nicole Marie Majewski

Founder of Iyari Play Farm School in Mexico

Sally Haughey

CEO of Fairy Dust Teaching

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The Free to Play Summit brings together early childhood educators from around the globe!







Whether you’ve been a practitioner of play for years or you heard about it for the first time yesterday…

We invite you to join us for a rich conversation that is about play-based education – yet even bigger than that.

Because ensuring that children are free to play is about more than doing away with worksheets and plastic toys.

It’s about trust — in children’s innate abilities, and in your own.

We’ll give you the insights and tools to develop that trust on a deeper level than you may have ever imagined. That’s the power of a personalized plan for YOU.

Kid playing with bubbles
Two girls walking in the forest

The Free to Play Summit is for:

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    Educators who are new, experienced, or anywhere in between.

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    Administrators, Consultants & Practitioners who shape our systems.

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    Curious parents and caregivers who want the best for their children.

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    YOU, if you’re ready to do things differently and understand play from the inside out

We created the Free to Play Summit to give you the space, guidance and community you need to shape your approach and own it.

This also means learning how to speak to the power of play with parents, directors, administration, and also your own colleagues — even when it feels scary or imperfect.

Free to Play 2022 features incredible speakers who are leading essential conversations around the importance and developmental necessity of play in our practices. They will leave YOU empowered and with tools to lead these conversations in your own communities.


About Sally Haughey & Fairy Dust Teaching

Sally Haughey is the founder and CEO of Fairy Dust Teaching. Fairy Dust started in 2010 as a space for an early childhood educator (Sally) to blog out her thoughts and ideas. She was in a highly academic setting and still wanted to bring in the wonder to her classroom.

From there it expanded and grew. Fairy Dust Teaching has cultivated a community from over 101 countries. Sally has authored several books, including The Wonder Art Workshop and Through the Child’s Eyes.

She has been producing dynamic Play conferences/summits since 2014, has offered hundreds of PD hours through online professional development courses, the Wunder-Led certification program, and the Wonder League membership program.

If you care deeply about children’s right to play, we are so glad you found us. We’re here to help you prioritize what matters most: your connection with your students, and making sure you both have the space and the freedom to explore the world through play and do it your way.

Your Next Steps:

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REGISTER (it’s free!)

Simply enter your name and best email address below to receive your login details for the summit. This is how we’ll communicate with you about each day’s sessions!


Next, you’ll receive a confirmation email from us. You’re in! Be sure to check your promotions tab and spam folder. Add asksally@fairydustteaching.com to your safe senders or contact list to make sure you don’t miss a thing.


Each day of the summit, you’ll receive free 24-hour access to that day’s sessions, plus summit diaries to help you put ideas into action. We’ll email you all the info you need as the summit unfolds each day.

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"What I took away from this Summit was togetherness, happiness, freshness, joining as one and, really, doing the fine-tuning to get the work done in a fun, enjoyable, exciting way for all. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking journey and become the best version of myself."

–Sandra B.

"This was above and beyond what I expected and it was worth all of my extra time! Thank you so much for everything you all do and feel I was completely blessed by it all! Looking forward to the next one!"

–Faith F.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have signed up for a lot of summits, and I end up overwhelmed with content. What’s different about this one?

  • The Free to Play Summit is the ONLY place where you receive the most up-to-date brain science behind play, PLUS experience a series of Play Labs that bring the concepts to life. You’ll also leave the summit with your very own personalized Playbook, guided by us but developed by YOU, so it reflects your teaching truths.
  • We’ve eliminated all the fluff and kept the summit focused on learning outcomes (not just another series of conversations).
  • That said, we’re all about PLAY, so you’ll do that too! You’ll leave our unique Play Labs with experiences you can take back to your classroom.
  • You’ll explore the relationship between the physical, emotional and mental landscapes of play — and craft a renewed vision for your teaching practice, equipped with the research you need to shine as a play practitioner, in your classroom, and with parents and administrators alike.
  • A true experience awaits you when you join us in the Free to Play Summit!

When will the Summit start each day?

  • The links to each day’s Summit will be emailed out at 8 am CST and will be available for 24 hours no matter where you are! There are no individual times for each session, you can pick and choose which ones you would like to watch and when each day.

I don’t have time to block out 4 days. Will there be recordings?

  • Each day’s sessions are available for 24 hours no matter where you are in the world. So you can fit them into even a busy schedule.
  • When you upgrade to one of our very affordable access passes, you’ll  receive lifetime access to the videos, audio and transcripts for each session. We have many ways to help you get this content at a pace — and low price — that works for you!
  • We encourage you to go ahead and purchase a lifetime access pass if you can see the value this would bring your every day practice! We’ll meet you where you are, and help you get where you want to go next.

Will I receive a PD certificate?

  • The free pass does not include a certificate. Our Budget Pass has a 16-hour PD Certificate and the All Access Pass includes a 20+ hour PD certificate.
  • There are ongoing costs associated with issuing and maintaining the PD Certificate because we provide you with 3rd party authentication via Accredible, so please consider upgrading!
  • Even with the free pass, however, you’re going to get so much value out of these sessions and your teaching practice will experience a renewal like no other.

Children can’t be free to play if we’re still reading from the same old Playbook.

The Free to Play Summit is your official license to play — and to do it your way.

Claim your space at the table and make 2022 the year you said yes to the power of play —
and owning it, your way:

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“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.”

Gerry Spencer

"This has been not one of the best, but rather THE ABSOLUTE BEST summit I have been a part of in my thirty-plus years as an early childhood educator! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Sally is great and the speakers were as well. I learned so much. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

–Vicki C.

"It was a week of inspirational and motivating ideas and methods of helping our young curious, adventurous, and experimenting minds. Enthralling information on risk play, puppet play, nature play, and inclusive education. Thanks to all the presenters and Sally for coming up and sharing great information for people involved in children's development."

–Amla N.

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