Back to School Workshop

Saturday, September 15, 2018

8:00am Registration/Check-In 8:30am-2:30pm Workshop

Harper College J Theater, Palatine Illinois


Human brains crave novelty and are driven to understand and classify the world--just two reasons loose parts play is so valuable. This hands-on session dives deep into loose parts play. We'll look at why such play is important, how to support it, and spend time exploring lots of loose parts play materials.
Young children learn best through hands-on, up-close-and-personal, in-your-face interactions with the world. The problem many adult caregivers have with such learning is that it is often messy. Kids who interact closely with their worlds often end up with their world all over their hands, face, and clothes. This session looks at why messy play is an important part of early learning, messy play ideas, and tools and tips to help caregivers make messy okay.


A child’s life should be full of whim, fantasy, imagination, and goofiness, but all too often kids are forced to grow up too soon. This session will look at how caregivers can feed their need for fun and fantasy...and have a good time while doing so. This session will share with you the relationship between fantasy play and learning and give you ideas for supporting fantasy and imaginative play.


Weapons play, rough-and-tumble-play, superhero play, and death play get a bad rap in many early learning settings. Attempts are made to restrict and outright ban these types of play because they are loud, rowdy, aggressive, violent-looking, and make many adults uncomfortable. The problem is, such play is ripe with learning possibilities. This session looks at the positive side of such play and offers suggestions for making it a part of your program.

Jeff A. Johnson opened Explorations Early Learning, a family child care program, in 2003 with his wife, Tasha, after spending 16 years directing a child care center and community center for a large non-profit agency. Their programs focused on supporting emergent learning in a play-based and child-centered environment. In August 2013, they closed their family child care program and retired to pursue their hobbies: speaking at early learning events, making toys, recording podcasts, and advocating for child-led play and caregiver selfcare. Jeff presents regularly at early learning conferences across the United States, Canada, and Australia and has keynoted an international conference in Cork, Ireland. He produces a number of early learning podcasts that currently have over 250,000 downloads a year. Jeff is the author of ten books. 

 This is a Gateways Registry-approved training for 5 inservice hours.

There will be a one-hour lunch break. Lunch on your own- go out or bring a sack lunch. 

$25/member (GoAEYC Standard or Premium level) & $45/non-member 

Click here for Printable Flyer

To register on-line (please note there is a $2/person fee) click here

GoAEYC Events

GOAEYC Board Meetings

The GoAEYC Board meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM at Children's Home + Aid in Arlington Heights.  All members are welcome and encouraged to attend!  For more information about our next meeting, or to RSVP your attendance, please contact us for more information. Attend a Meeting!


GoAEYC is excited to be a Gateways Authorized Entity. Your in-service hours through GoAEYC will be documented on your PDR. For more information on Gateways please click on the Resources Tab.

Spring Symposium At Harper College

The Symposium at Harper College is a excellent way to achieve professional development in the latest trends in Early Childhood Education. Our last symposium was on Saturday, March 10, 2018 featured presenter/author Nancy Bruski.

Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus event allows participants to see best practices in different NAEYC Accredited programs as well as Gold Star centers in our area. You'll hop on a bus to visit a variety of different centers and become inspired with your own environment. 

Back to School Workshop

Join us on Saturday, September 15th at Harper College's J Theater for a workshop to get you excited and prepared for your new school year. Past events have included Lisa Murphy the Ooey Gooey Lady. 

Fall Conference 

Join us on Saturday, October 13th, 2018  for a morning of inspiring, informative workshops, plus a special free GoAEYC member breakfast at Oakton Community College. More information shortly!

Winter Workshops

Join us for two workshops in January and February on the latest in research and teaching methods.