Play Your Way to Literacy

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This hands-on workshop looks seriously at play, "the work of childhood," by introducing research about play, highlighting the important roles of parents, caregivers, librarians, and childcare providers; increasing the understanding of play in the context of Every Child Ready to Read and Mind in the Making; examining play, toys, and technology; participating in playful activities that ignite imagination and build skills; discussing ways to add play into circle times; and showcasing new ways to use developmental tips and family programming to foster positive play between parents and children. Hands-on activities, a PowerPoint presentation, and video clips give participants a playful, meaningful day with practical suggestions that can be put immediately into action to help children build literacy, STEM, social and emotional skills.


Participants will be able to:

  • Identify connections between play and literacy, STEM, social & emotional skills.
  • Describe the importance of play as proven by scientific studies
  • Explain how play can build & strengthen 21st century skills
  • Plan new circle time activities that involve learning through play
  • Promote the vital role that parents have in encouraging play in their children,
  • Observe ways that family programs can foster positive play between parents and children
  • Use first-hand knowledge to describe benefits of constructive play
  • Create developmental tips to guide parents and caregivers
  • Explain two ways that play connects with being ready to read and with the Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs from Mind in the Making.®
  • Add (more) play into their settings!

Just like a sturdy block tower, this workshop aims to give participants a wide basis upon which to successfully build.

Betsy will also hold a workshop “Transforming Preschool Storytime“ in Christchurch on 31 October. There is a discount price for attending the Wellington and the Christchurch workshops.


Dr Betsy Diamant-Cohen is the creator of the Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy programme. She is known throughout the USA for her charismatic and inspiring presentations. Based on her experiences working as a children’s librarian in public libraries and children’s museums for more than 25 years, she believes that the best way to learn is through play. She is recognized as a prolific author, inspiring mentor and presenter, knowledgeable consultant and teacher. Betsy has worked with hundreds of librarians and teachers to help them to create programmes that reflect their interests and personalities, strengthen connections between parents and their children, allow them to be facilitators rather than performers and educates about child development and best practices for literacy. In 2013, Betsy was the recipient of an award from a division of the American Library Association, the ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award which stated that Mother Goose on the Loose “has revolutionized the way story times are presented to young children at libraries and has empowered librarians to work confidently with this young population of readers.” In 2018, she was selected as the winner of the 2018 Alexandre Vattermare Award for Creativity in Libraries. Betsy is a regular presenter at the American Library Association Conferences.

Terms and conditions:

We understand that circumstances can change therefore substitutions can be sent at no additional cost. Please notify these where possible at least 48 hours prior to the seminar start.

If this is not an option then the following refunds or fees apply:

Business days before start of course 

Refund (% of course fee) 

More than 21 days


21-8 days


Less than 8 days

No refund

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this seminar, or if you cannot pay by credit card online and require an invoice - please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: