Playmakers use play-based, trauma-informed practices to build life-changing relationships with children in their care.

Play is Healing

Decades of research have shown that positive relationships help protect children from the negative impacts of early trauma, and for children, play is the most effective way to build those relationships... but not just any kind of play. As a Playmaker, you'll learn our carefully crafted 4-step framework for creating corrective play experiences that augment healing. The best part? What we offer is not a curriculum or program to “add” to your already full plates. This framework can be applied no matter what your current social, emotional, academic, or treatment goals are. We will also teach practices to support your own personal and professional wellness, lower stress, and keep joy and optimism at the center of your work. After all, we can’t spread to others what we don’t have for ourselves.

“Children need food and water and medicine to survive, but they need play to truly live." -Steve Gross 

Setting the Foundation: A Focus on Early Childhood

We are committed to serving those who work with children impacted by trauma during the most critical time in their development. Our Playmaker Training is designed primarily for professionals who work with children under the age of 10 (early childhood through elementary school ages). If you work with older populations but are committed to adapting the Playmaker framework to your environment, you’re welcome to learn with us, too! We just want you to know that this program is based on early childhood practices and on research that sets – and re-sets – the foundation for a healthy childhood.  

For Individuals

Discover the art, soul, and science behind building life-changing relationships with children! Playmaker University is an inspiring learning community for early childhood educators and care professionals. We offer a certificate program, continuing education, and a supportive alumni community. Content is research-based, trauma-informed, and play-focused, and it meets NAEYC program standards and fulfills NAEYC professional development requirements for Diverse Learning. 

Playmaker University

A playmaker creates a circle holding hands with kids

For Schools & Organizations

We offer transformative professional development experiences for cohorts of 15 or more. 

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Emily leading a Playmaker training course

Playmakers Spread the Power of Optimism to Children who Need it Most.