Mary Immaculate College and the Children's Research Network are hosting an International Play Conference on Saturday, September 15th 2018. The venue is Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. 

Revolutionising Play: Perspectives; Possibilities and Promise

Athbheochan an tSúgartha: Dearcadh; Féidearthachtaí agus Dóchas

Research continues to highlight the significant contribution of play-based practice to children’s learning and development. However play opportunities for children in early childhood, primary school and beyond continue to be under threat from perceived pressure to introduce more formal and directive approaches. This conference is aimed at reclaiming play and situating play-based practice firmly in education.

In his 1970 hit song, Cat Stevens asked ‘Where do the Children Play?’ The conference provides an opportunity for everyone interested in play to return to this question. We ask a wide range of international and national experts to tell us in 2018, where do the children play and most importantly how we can ensure that all children in Ireland are afforded worthwhile and enriched opportunities to play from early  childhood through primary school and beyond. Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Professor Peter Gray and Adam Harris.                    

Peter Gray, Ph.D. is research professor at Boston College. His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn. He authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today.

Adam Harris is a 23 year old, Autism advocate and Founder-CEO of, an organisation committed to building a more Autism-friendly society. Adam established based on his own experience of growing up with Asperger Syndrome. Adam is  committed to the value of play for all children.

Click here to view the Conference Programme.

You can find a link to all the presentations that were presented at the conference below.