18 Trainings • 3 Days • A Comprehensive Training

13th Annual International

Free to Play Logo

A Complete training on how to talk to parents, colleagues and administrators about play, behavior, and more.

May 18-20, 2024


Parents and administrators don’t always get the power of play.

Spend three days with us, and leave with the toolkit you need to speak powerfully to the brain science and benefits of play and how play nurtures children’s self-regulation, socialization, and focus.

With these tools you can be the early childhood educator who makes a difference in children’s lives – no matter the circumstances.

It’s FREE, and the 3 days you spend will pay off for a lifetime.


What You’ll Learn

This is unlike any summit we have produced to date. It is a COMPLETE course in practical and actionable strategies for speaking to the power of play. There are three threads running throughout the summit’s trainings:

  • Brain

    Understanding the brain science

    It can feel daunting when parents and colleagues expect more traditional and academic ways of educating children. We are going to share some of the most incredible brain science that supports play as the ultimate way of educating young children.

  • Social

    Speaking to Children’s Social/Emotional Needs

    Traditional education strives to have quiet children sitting with eager ears for the teacher’s instructions. Sounds good but you and I know - it is a horrifying scene. In this summit, you will learn how to speak to the truth - learning is not quiet. In fact, it is deeply rooted in the children’s social and emotional development.

  • Outdoor

    Advocating for Movement in Learning

    Now, more than ever, we need our administrators to understand why children’s movement is so important. Outdoor play is critical to help children learn to self-regulate. Throughout this summit, we will be filling your toolkit and helping you advocate for more movement.


By the end of this summit, you will be able to speak to colleagues, parents, and administrators about:

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    How play develops the brain

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    Why movement is critical to brain development

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    What children need to self-regulate

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    Why is outdoor movement so important

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    What is happening in a child’s meltdown

And so much more.

Join tens of thousands of educators and parents who are championing play as the gold standard of education for young children.

You and I know play is the answer.

Join us in a complete training in the power of play to meet children’s most pressing needs.

The Trainings

At 9 AM CST each day, that day’s trainings will be released to watch for free for 24 hours.

DAY 1:The Brain Research & Play Benefits

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Nathan Wallis

Engage Your Brain

Denita Dinger

Why Giving Ownership to Children Matters

Lynnette Arthur

Talking to Families about the Importance of Anti-bias Approach to Learning

Kelsie Olds

How Play Prepares the Body for Learning

Two Pushy Dames

How Big Body Play Develops the Brain for Learning

Kisa Marx

Why Play is the Ultimate Academic Choice for All Children

DAY 2: Social Emotional Development & Play

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Alice Sharp

Honoring the Emotional Needs of Children

Tom Bedard

How Sensory Experiences Support the Social/Emotional Development of Young Children

Prerna Richards

How to Support Children in Meltdown

Chazz Lewis

How to Talk to Parents About Challenging Behaviors

Rebecca Rolland

How to Have Conversations with Children

Dr. Lillian Ardell

How to Break Free of Your Monolingual Lenses and Why it Matters

DAY 3: Nature, Movement & Materials

Monday, May 20, 2024


How to Move towards a Nature-Based Approach

Angela Hanscom

Why Movement is Essential for Young Children

Carol Kranowitz

Veronica Moore

Understanding the Needs of Infants and Toddlers

Clare Devlin
Clare Devlin

What does 'Boutiquing' mean in Early Years Settings & Schools?

Sally Haughey

How to Talk to Parents and Colleagues about The Benefits of Process Art

Our speakers have been featured on:

Redleaf Press logo
Hi Mama logo
CBS logo
Gryphon House logo
Community Playthings logo
World Forum Foundation logo
North America Reggio Emilia Alliance logo
Exchange logo
Mom.com logo

Join us and pack your play knowledge toolbox!

“One of the best I have ever been a part of!”

"What a wealth of knowledge was shared over just 4 short days. Thanks to each of you for making this one of the best I have ever been a part of!"


“I am reminded of the importance of what I do.”

"I am reminded that what I do and the way I do it is so important. The research is out there and supports it. We must keep doing the good work for the sake of our children and our families."


“Highlights what is so often undervalued and forgotten.”

"Thank you, thank you, thank you many times over for the passion, inspiration and support in teaching from the heart with all the right knowledge in our back pockets! Thank you for highlighting what is so often undervalued and forgotten in a sector that should first and foremost be about connection, nurture and love for our tamariki (children). Thank you, Sally, and thank you to the amazing team behind the scenes for making this possible and free/ affordable for all! Again, thank you, from my heart to yours."


“One of the best advocates for children and play.”

“Sally you have created a wonderful forum for all of us who deeply care about children. The Free to Play Summit is a fantastic summit, which I look forward to every year. Your passion and enthusiasm for early childhood is making a difference. A wonderful person, with a great team. One of the best advocates for children and play. Long may the Free to Play Summit and Fairy Dust Teaching continue.”


“Amazing takeaways from excellent speakers!”

“Thank you! My first summit here and certainly not the last! Amazing take aways for me. The amount of excellent and appealing-to-me speakers during those 4 days was extremely high! You have created quite something here. Again: thank you.“


“Mind-bogglingly inspiring, with incredible speakers.”

“I have quite literally never seen or experienced anything like this summit. The work and care and thought and love you all put into every single detail is mind bogglingly inspiring. The speakers were absolutely incredible. Thank you thank you thank you!!”



Visit 3 Play Talk Labs and learn how to speak the brain science of play.

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    Each session will focus on a specific understanding of play’s impact on the development of the brain.

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    These guided talk sessions will give you ideas for how to explain the power of play with ease and confidence.

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    Expand your capacity to speak and defend the children’s growth and learning through play.


Lab 1:

The Power of Repetition in Play

Learn how to explain how a neural pathway is formed and the power of repetition in children's play.


Lab 2:

The Limbic System & Learning

Learn the cycle of the Limbic in a child’s exploration in play and how it is foundational to true learning.


Lab 3:

Sensory Play & Brain Development

Learn how to explain the different parts of the brain and their functions plus why sensory play is so important.

How does the Summit work?

Your ticket is free (for a limited time)

Each morning of the Summit, you’ll get an email link to that day’s sessions, which you can access for free for 24 hours.

Watch from anywhere, anytime

No travel costs or travel time! Watch from the comfort of your own home, in your own time zone, and on your own schedule.


We curated speakers who will share the most timely, relevant, and actionable strategies needed for today’s child.

You'll become part of a global initiative!

The time is now to raise awareness about our children’s right to play, and to protect their emotional and physical wellbeing.

“Ignited the flame yet again!”

“Sally and Team - yes - you have ignited that flame yet again- a million thank yous!!”


“My go-to center for ideas.”

“So much to learn. This space will definitely be my go to center for ideas from time to time.”


“Lifts up my motivation.”

“Thank you so much for all the support and guidance we received during the summit's days. Your work, kindness and understanding has been great! The topics, play lab and speakers lift up my motivation to really fight for children and their wellbeing. Amazing , as always. Thanks again.“


“So refreshing and filled with new ideas.”

“This summit has been so refreshing and filled with new ideas to incorporate into the classroom. I keep reflecting on the importance of letting children learn through play and at their own pace. The presenters have been amazing. I feel inspired to go and practice everything I got out of this summit. Thank you Sally and staff for making this possible.”


“More focused, confident, hopeful and joyful.”

“I feel invigorated, rejuvenated, heard, felt, and seen. My thoughts, instincts, hopes and desires for children have been validated. I feel a part of something bigger and less alone in the struggles. I feel hopeful and joyful. I feel empowered. I am more focused on my WHY and more confident in my HOW. Thank you to Sally, all the presenters, every single person who had a hand in putting together the Free to Play Summit and for everyone participating in this amazing community. You are all enough...and so much more.”


“Excited to spread this light you’ve shared with us.”

“Please keep on doing what you do. You are reaching all kinds of individuals in different parts and crevices of the world where this kind of information is expensive and hard to come by. Really excited to spread this light that you have all shared with us to our children, classrooms, colleagues, parents and families. Great team effort, kudos to the entire Fairy Dust team!!! All your efforts and planning was simply evident in every step of the way, from the format, the speakers chosen, the summit diaries, playlabs and so much more! More power to all of you!”


The Free to Play Summit is for:

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    Preschool Teachers

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    Infant Toddler Educators

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    Home Educators

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    Head Start Teachers

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    Preschool Counselors

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    Grade School Teachers

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    Policy Makers

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    Parents of Young Children

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    Kindergarten Teachers

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    Child Psychologists

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    ECE Consultants

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    Child Care Educators

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    Anyone who loves children!


Meet Your Host

Hi, I’m Sally! 

It is incredible to be celebrating my 10th year of providing online professional development through summits and conferences for early childhood educators. 

That first conference surpassed what I thought was possible, and provided over 3000 attendees inspiration, strategies, and resources to take their teaching practice to the next level.

Every year my team and I curate our summit to meet your current needs and challenges. No two years are the same and our summits evolve as you do.

This year the summit has been crafted to bring you inspiration and actionable strategies to meet the challenges you are facing with children born since 2020. It is my deepest hope that we fuel your passion and fill your teaching toolkit.

Grab your ticket and join me and 20+ early childhood experts for a one-of-a-kind event that will help you bring more engagement and play to your classroom! 

Your Next Steps:

Check Mark
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.

“Groundbreaking journey to become the best version of myself.”

"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."


“Above and beyond what I expected!”

"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!"


“Has had a huge and wondrous impact on my heart!”

“Sally, you and your team truly inspire each of us that work in this field to try our hardest, to inspire others, to accept children for who they are, to love, laugh and play! Thank you again for the dedication, love and passion you bring! I truly am looking forward to next year’s summit . This was my first and I can't stop talking about it and crying at times. These sessions and the speakers spoke to our hearts. It has definitely had a huge and wondrous impact on my heart!”


“All of the speakers were Five Star.”

"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."


Frequently Asked Questions

In a day and age where your time is more precious than ever, we have committed to trimming the fluff and delivering a practical and to-the-point summit. 

In this year’s summit, we have tailored it to be a whole and complete guide on how to talk to parents, administrators, and colleagues about play, challenging behavior, risky play and more. These sessions are packed with gold.

The links to each day’s Summit will be emailed out at 9 am CST and will be available for 24 hours no matter where you are! There are no individual times for each session, so you can pick and choose which ones you would like to watch and when each day.

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 purchase the The Ultimate System for Talking About Play Pass, you’ll receive lifetime access following the “live” summit (on May 27th) to the videos, audios, and transcripts for each session. We have many ways to help you get this content at a pace- and a low price - that works for you!

Yes! The Ultimate System for Talking About Play Pass, includes PD. This lifetime access pass includes a 18+ hour PD certificate. (*Note: Due to ongoing third party costs, the free pass does not include a PD Certificate. If you would like a PD Certificate, please consider upgrading!) 


Since each region is a little different with what they accept for PD training hours, we encourage all lifetime access purchasers to check directly with their province/state/territory/board to confirm if our program meets their standards.

The Summit Hub is our “one stop shop” where you can watch each day’s summit sessions. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to watch the sessions, so we created one link you need in order to have access to the Free to Play Summit.

YES! Everyone who registers,  will be able to access for 24 hours, each day’s sessions for Free. If you choose to purchase The Ultimate System for Talking About Play Pass, you will get lifetime access to all 18 summit sessions plus lots of exciting bonus materials after the “live” summit concludes.

May 18th, attendees will receive a link to the Summit Hub Page, where you can watch Day 1’s videos starting at 9 AM CST.


On May 19th at 9 AM CST, Day 2’s sessions will open up for your viewing, and Day 1’s sessions will expire.


On May 20th at 9 AM CST Day 3’s sessions will open up for your viewing, and Day 2’s sessions will expire.


We will have 6 speaker sessions on each day. Each day is available to view for 24 hours. 

On Monday,, May 27th, if you have purchased The Ultimate System for Talking About Play, you will gain access to your lifetime access platform where you can watch and re-watch the videos at your convenience. 


**The Ultimate System for Talking About Play MUST be purchased before June 1, 2024. No lifetime access passes will be sold after June 1, 2024.

With your purchase of The Ultimate System for Talking About Play Pass, you will receive a link to your lifetime access dashboard following the “live” summit, on May 27th. There will be a certificate available once the trainings are complete. 

While each pass acts as admission for one person, we are very excited to offer a group purchase price for 5 or more individual passes that are purchased at the same time. 

Please reach out to asksally@fairydustteaching.com for more information!

Each session is between 25 to 40 minutes long. We were committed to providing short and effective sessions.

“Not one of the best – THE ABSOLUTE BEST.”

"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!"


“Enthralling information.”

"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."


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