About

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”
– Friedrich Froebel



Pierre grew up in the vast forest wonderland of Northern Ontario, Canada. He enjoyed a playful childhood filled with bumps and scrapes, wonder and adventure, and eventually earned a B.Sc. in Biochemistry, a M.Sc. in Protein Chemistry and a B.Ed. with qualifications to teach at the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior levels in Ontario.

Pierre has been involved in formal and non-formal learning since 1985 and has worked at various education centres in North America and Europe. In 2003, Pierre launched PLAYLearnThink in order to promote the importance of play as a fundamental necessity for a healthy, engaging and fulfilling life.

Pierre facilitates play training workshops for adults across Canada and in Europe. He is also invited to keynote on play, inquiry and learning at national and international conferences. To date just over 13,640 teachers, educators, recreation leaders, health care service providers, parents/caregivers and members of the general public have taken Pierre’s Play Ambassadors Oath. Pierre also organizes and facilitates Adventure PlayDays in schools and in community spaces across Canada. To date, 14,845 children have enjoyed his PlayDays. Pierre has worked with ministries of education, school boards, municipalities, organizations and individuals to support them with their play provision. He appears in print, radio, TV and Web media in Canada and abroad and has authored a chapter on play in a book for parents.

Pierre is the current past president of the Canadian branch of the International Play Association having served on the board from 2005 to 2021. He lives with his partner Susanne and their 12 year old son Tom (from whom he learns much) in an off-grid, straw bale house nestled within 20 hectares of the most beautiful natural playground: the Canadian Shield of Northern Ontario, where adventures abound and imagination soars.

Pierre has spoken on the topic of play and learning for various audiences, most recently for:

  • The MacEwan Childcare Conference in Edmonton, Canada (May 05, 2018) – Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk
  • The Mnaamodzawin Health Services Wellness Week in Little Current, Canada (February 26, 2019) – Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Sturgeon Falls, Canada (March 2, 2019) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, North Bay, Canada (March 23, 2019) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Sudbury, Canada (April 30, 2019) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Kirkland Lake, Canada (May 28, 2019 – morning session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Kirkland Lake, Canada (May 28, 2019 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Engelhart, Canada (May 28, 2019 – morning session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Community Partners Engagement, Engelhart, Canada (May 28, 2019 – morning session) – Importance of Play, Exploring Risk and the building of community
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, New Liskeard, Canada (May 29, 2019 – morning session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, New Liskeard, Canada (May 30, 2019 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Sudbury, Canada (June 5, 2019 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Shawanaga, Canada (June 16, 2019) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • The 2019 Northeastern Ontario Recreation Association Forum and Trade Show in Sudbury, Canada (September 24, 2019) – Importance of Play, Exploring Risk and Psychomotor Development
  • The Elemental Festival in Kagawong, Canada (September 28, 2019) – Play, Science and Art – The exploration of our physical and social environments
  • The Internationaler Spiel(mobil)kongress 2019, Munich, Germany (October 10, 2019) – Play, Science and Art – The exploration of our physical and social environments
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Shawanaga, Canada (January 11, 2020) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Toronto, Canada (February 22, 2020) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • The Below 0 Outdoor Play Training Workshop, North Bay, Canada (February 29, 2020) – Importance of Play, Outdoor Play in Winter and Exploring Risk
  • Webinar in collaboration with IDÉLLO and the CEPEO in Ontario (May 21, 2020) – Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Loose Parts and Play during the COVID pandemic
  • The UK National Playwork Annual Conference – 8 Weeks of Conference via videoconference (June 9, 2020) – The Child’s Right to Play: Advocacy Through Provision and Training
  • via videoconference for La Clé d’la baie en Huronie pour les Communautés d’apprentissage EPE (Nov. 04, 2021) – Play and the exploration of risk (FR)
  • The MINA KOGANAASOWIN “RAISING CHILDREN IN A GOOD WAY” conference in Little Current, Canada (Nov. 24, 2021) – Importance of Play, Supporting Child-Directed play and Exploring Risk
  • via videoconference for CASA – Committee for Anglophone Social Action (March 21, 2022) – Importance of Play, Exploring Risk and Nature Play presentation

Pierre has also facilitated workshops on the importance of self-directed play in the healthy development of children, most recently:

  • in North Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? ministry document, Inquiry-based learning, Documentation and Reflexive Practice full-day playshop, February 24, 2018)
  • in Burlington, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Through Play and Exploring Risk playshop, March 24, 2018)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of play and how to create an engaging playspace, April 5, 2018)
  • in Thunder Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Through Play, Exploring Risk, Physical Literacy and Creating a Playspace full-day playshop, April 24, 2018)
  • in Red Deer, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible, Exploring Risk and Creating a Playspace playshop, May 02, 2018)
  • in Edmonton, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible, Exploring Risk and Creating a Playspace playshop, May 05, 2018)
  • in Edmonton, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, May 7, 2018)
  • in Calgary, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, May 12, 2018)
  • in Manitouwadge, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, May 29, 2018)
  • in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, May 30, 2018)
  • in Terrace Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, May 31, 2018)
  • in Nipigon, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, June 5, 2018)
  • in Geraldton, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, June 7, 2018)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), June 22, 2018)
  • in Scarborough, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, June 24, 2018)
  • in Timmins, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Eng), September 29, 2018)
  • in Timmins, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), September 29, 2018)
  • in Halifax, Canada (Importance of Play, Early Childhood Framework Documents, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), October 26, 2018)
  • in Halifax, Canada (Importance of Play, Early Childhood Framework Documents, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), October 27, 2018)
  • in Elk Lake, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Eng), November 10, 2018)
  • in Elk Lake, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), November 10, 2018)
  • in Rockland, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), November 24, 2018)
  • in Burlington, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop, February 23, 2019)
  • in Red Deer, Canada (Importance of Play, Alberta early learning framework, Exploring Risk and Inquire based learning playshop, April 6, 2019)
  • in North Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Eng), May 7, 2019)
  • in North Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Fr), May 8, 2019)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk playshop (Two French half-day playshops for the Petit Bonheurs Festival), May 26, 2019)
  • in Engelhart, Canada (Making the Learning Visible, Play Invitations, Co-Creation of the play space, Exploring Risk and using a Risk/Benefit approach evening playshop, May 29, 2019)
  • in Shawanaga, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk and Inquiry-based learning playshop, June 16, 2019)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Engaging Children and Exploring Risk playshop, June 19, 2019)
  • in Lévis, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk and Inquiry-based learning playshop , July 19, 2019)
  • in Munich, Germany for The Internationaler Spiel(mobil)kongress 2019 (Play, Science and Art: The exploration of our physical and social environments, October 12, 2019 – one English workshop and one German workshop)
  • in Timmins, Canada (Importance of Play, Engaging Children and Exploring Risk playshop, November 14, 2019)
  • in Kemptville, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Physical Literacy and the new Ontario Phys. Ed. curriculum, December 11, 2019)
  • in North Bay, Canada for the Below 0 Outdoor Play Training Workshop, (Outdoor Winter Play – two workshops, February 29, 2020)
  • via videoconference for The UK National Playwork Annual Conference – 8 Weeks of Conference (The Child’s Right to Play Workshop: Creating a Path Forward Post-COVID, June 9, 2020)
  • via videoconference for the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board ECE workshop (May 20, 2021) – Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts and Play during the COVID pandemic
  • in Sudbury, Canada for third year design students at the McEwen School of Architecture, (Importance of play and playspace design – half-day in person workshop, Oct. 21, 2021)
  • in Sudbury, Canada for ECE, (Importance of play and exploring risk with a focus on outdoor play – 3 half-day in person workshops, Oct. 27, 29 and 30, 2021)
  • via videoconference for The Halton Resource Connection (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk workshop(FR), November 10, 2021)
  • via videoconference for CASA – Committee for Anglophone Social Action (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk full-day workshop, November 29, 2021)
  • via videoconference for DNSSAB (Importance of Play – three workshops for ECE grouped by program, April 6, 2022 Infant/Toddler, April 13, 2022 Preschool and May 4, 2022 School Age)
  • via videoconference for DTSSAB (Learning through play, exploring risk and outdoor play – May 9, 2022)
  • in Sudbury, Canada for summer camp staff, (Importance of play and exploring risk with a focus on outdoor play – half-day in person workshop, June 16, 2022)
  • in Sudbury, Canada for daycare provider’s ECE, (Importance of play and exploring risk with a focus on outdoor play – half-day in person workshop, June 30, 2022)