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Cincinnati Museum Center presents eighth annual conference on play and early childhood education

Registration now open for Learning Through Play Conference March 12 & 13

CINCINNATI – Registration is now open for Cincinnati Museum Center’s eighth annual Learning Through Play Conference on March 12 & 13. The conference brings together a broad range of the region’s best childhood development experts for workshops to help parents and educators learn more about the physical, mental and emotional health of their children and students

Cincinnati Museum Center recognizes how crucial early childhood development is and the impact that open-ended, hands-on learning can have on building the skills and education children need. It’s something Museum Center staff facilitates every day. The Learning Through Play Conference goes beyond the “do” of play-based learning activities to include the “how” and “why.” Early childhood experts from 14 organizations, including the Museum Center, will present workshops and drop in activities during the conference, which the American Alliance of Museums recognized as a national model of community engagement with parents.

The 2016 Learning Through Play Conference has expanded to two days. March 12 is a workshop-focused day for educators and parents. Early childhood experts from 14 organizations, including Cincinnati Museum Center, will present workshops to show how you can get the most out of your interactions with children. All sessions are Ohio Approved Professional Development and Kentucky Approved Early Care and Education Training so educators can earn professional contact hours by attending.

Beech Acres Parenting Center, a presenting partner of the Learning Through Play Conference, will lead three workshops on a variety of topics, including identifying the symptoms of anxiety and practical tools families can use to assist children with anxiety.

Many educators and parents are unfamiliar with or undertrained in working with children with special needs. The Perlman Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will lead a workshop on adapting play material for children with physical limitations. Linden Grove School will address the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including how to address sensory issues that may limit those children’s participation in certain activities and experiences.

Another challenge in raising and educating children today is the prevalence of pop culture and social media. The concept of identity becomes less a personal choice than one forced upon children and one they are judged for. The Cincinnati Art Museum addresses identity by letting children reflect on their own identity and bring that to life through a mixed-media collage. The importance of identity and self-esteem is echoed by Giving Families in a workshop dedicated to helping your child steer clear of bullying behavior. The workshop encourages children to develop a sense of purpose and to be compassionate and empathetic.

Experts from Cincinnati Museum Center will also lead workshops, including how to create science experiments, at home and in the classroom, on a budget and the different approaches to teaching science in the classroom.

This isn’t your typical conference, though. You can bring your kids! March 13 features drop-in experiences through the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum . Beech Acres Parenting Center will lead activities to help children develop mindfulness and will help parents build five minutes of play each day into your family’s busy schedule. Miss Meghan will demonstrate how to grow a lot of food in a small space with aeroponics. Explore nature in an urban setting, sing and dance, practice rhyming words and build important math skills with experts from our own Cincinnati community.

Other organizations leading workshops at the eighth annual Learning Through Play Conference include the Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center, the Cincinnati Nature Center, Child in Bloom, MusicTime Studio, CET, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Children’s Cognitive Research Lab at the University of Cincinnati and Happen, Inc.

Discounted early registration for Learning Through Play educator day on March 12 is $15 per session and ends February 26. Registration reopens at the Learning Through Play registration table on March 12 and is $20 per session. You can also register at the conference. Parking is $6 per vehicle. Pre-ordered lunch and discounted museum tickets are also available.

Registration for Learning Through Play family day on March 13 is $8 per session for adults and children ages 1 and older who are Cincinnati Museum Center Members. Non-Members are $10 per session for adults and children ages 1 and older and must purchase museum admission at a special discounted rate of $8.50 per adults or children ages 3 and older; museum admission for children ages 1 to 2 is $5.50.

Visit or call (513) 287-7001 to register.