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Learning Through Play for Young Children with Disabilities

About the workshop

There is a growing interest in moving beyond core curriculum subjects in learning for children. Play is a unique medium that stimulates holism in development. Greater attention is now placed on the role of play as a catalyst for 21st century skills building and how it can nurture children as communicators, creators, and problem-solvers to explore and engage their social world. 

This online professional development workshop aims to provide insights into how play provides  opportunities for individual growth, challenges previously held conceptions and presents ideas for learning innovations. We invite educators and professionals working with children with diverse learning needs to join us in gaining an understanding of how child-centred play and sensitivity to individual abilities present opportunities for greater inclusion in the community. We will build shared knowledge, skills and positive dispositions in facilitating play, as well as make decisions on resources and arrangements in the play space.

The workshop is funded by the President’s Challenge. The content is designed based on Playeum’s unique research and practice partnership with Dr Joosa for Open Minds, Open Doors. It builds on our collective experience and expertise in the area of developing play spaces and practices. Through short lectures, analysis of play scenarios, quizzes, peer discussions and hands-on activities, participants will explore:

  • Knowledge on the role of play in 21st century learning  practices 

  • Skills in play facilitation and the introduction of play resources

  • The value of shared experience and play for children with disabilities as a community of practice


Interested participants can register online.

They have a choice between AM and PM sessions.

If you're a principal or centre leader who wishes to register on behalf of your educators, kindly email to

Successful applicants will receive a confirmation email from Playeum. 

 Registration closes on 13 February 2023 for Run 1 & 2,

and 20 March 2023 for Run 3 & 4.



Run 1: 20, 22, 24 February 2023 | 9am to 12pm

Run 2: 20, 22, 24 February 2023 | 2pm to 5pm

Run 3: 27, 29, 30 March 2023 | 9am to 12pm

Run 4: 27, 29, 30 March 2023 | 2pm to 5pm



Workshop Fees

We are grateful to receive support from President’s Challenge that has enabled this workshop to be fully funded. Participants are required to attend all three sessions of their selected workshop run.


S$100.00 of no-show charges applies for participants who register but do not attend and provide no valid reason for absence. 

Workshop Objectives

The workshop aims to provide foundational knowledge on the role and value of play for children with varying disabilities.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose and value of play in building 21st century skills for young children with diverse learning needs

  • Demonstrate the creative use of everyday items and materials in the design of meaningful play spaces and practices that can be extended into the home setting

  • Acquire positive attitudes towards the role that mindful facilitation and observation have in play as a child-centred learning innovation

Workshop Structure

The workshop will take place over three half-days, with a total of nine hours (online). The programme takes on a hands-on approach. Participants are expected to actively contribute during the workshop and in the discussion groups organised by the facilitator.

Day 1: Inviting children with disabilities to play and the playground

  • Play and 21st-century skills

  • The playground and its many stakeholders

  • The role and value of play

Day 2: How to create a meaningful play environment

  • The language of space and materials

  • The types of play

  •  Implementing play

Day 3: An introduction to observing and documenting play 

  • Development in play 

  • Outcomes in play

  • Documenting development

Target Participants

The workshop welcomes educators and professionals from EIPIC schools, special education schools and disability organisations. There are no prerequisites except that they must have an interest in the role of play in teaching for children with special needs between the ages of birth to nine. Participants must also be self-directed learners with a strong affinity for change and diverse learning needs.


For enquiries, please contact

“Only when we come together, can we create an inclusive and participatory community.”

About Playeum and Dr Esther Joosa

A unique practice and research partnership

Playeum and Dr Esther Joosa form a unique partnership, in which they dedicate their work to amplifying the voices of children with varying disabilities through play and the arts. The content of the workshop is based on Playeum’s and Dr Joosa’s extensive experience in play practice, and Dr Joosa’s design of the standards for the arts in special education. The workshop draws on expertise and evidence that play supports the holistic development of 21st century skills. We draw insights from:

  • A one-year research initiative Open Minds, Open Doors that started in 2019 on the effect of unstructured play 

  • A six-month investigation on the role of play engagement within an EIPIC centre  

  • A three-month investigation on the role of play in family settings


Find out more about Playeum and its mission as a charitable organisation, and Dr Esther Joosa, founder of Arts of the Earth Learning Hub. 

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