top of page

GS2024: Break Out A.E1 Open-ended play as a roadmap to build bridges to an inclusive future

Updated: Jun 26

*this break out presentation/workshop will be conducted in English


Speaker(s): Esther Joosa (Arts of the Earth)

Topic: A.E1 Open-ended play as a roadmap to build bridges to an inclusive future

Synopsis:  It is now widely accepted that investing in early childhood through play helps children’s holistic development. However, there is still little awareness about the value of play for children affected by diverse developmental trajectories.

This presentation provides insights from Open Minds, Open Doors, a one-year research collaboration of Playeum and Arts of the Earth, about play as a roadmap to include children with varying disabilities and to help build the foundations of bridges to an inclusive, creative, and equitable society. Three years of extensive documentation of play implementation in different settings showed how regular engagement in open-ended play can make a significant positive difference for children often found at the periphery of the playground.

Although play is not a magic potion, and some children may benefit less and some not at all, through hands-on engagement, participants will get a closer look at open-ended play practices and how these can help many diverse students greatly. The findings are translated into two manuals, one for parents and one for teachers. They highlight how reflective practices, positive beliefs about diversity, and understanding of play influence the opening of new doors and partnerships with parents.

Understanding the many influences and variations of play, children, and development requires us to come together and think of the need to create opportunities for teacher dialogue and professional development. Increasing the positive effects of play for all children—especially those who currently benefit the least—may be the key to breaking down barriers and building bridges towards an inclusive society.

See the rest of 2024's Break Out Sessions here!


bottom of page