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 12,680 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. In June and October 2014, he toured the province of Ontario with the Ministry of Education training kindergarten teachers, educators, school principals and school board personnel on the importance of play and learning through play with a focus on loose parts, children’s control of their play, making the learning visible, exploring risk, children’s use of real tools, outdoor play and inquiry based learning.

Pierre is the current past president of the Canadian branch of the International Play Association. He lives with his partner Susanne and their 10 year old son Tom (from whom he learns much) in an off-grid, straw bale house nestled within 10 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 Health Nexus Best Start Resource Centre Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada (February 8-10, 2017) – The Importance of Play
  • the Aundeck Omni Kaning Parents’ Forum in Aundeck Omni Kaning, Canada (April 22, 2017) – The Importance of Play
  • the 8th Annual Saskatchewan and Manitoba Water Safety Conference in Regina, Canada (May 9-10, 2017) – The Importance of Play
  • the Children’s Health and the Environment Workshop & Symposium: Moving Research to Action for Healthy Kids in London, Canada (June 26-28, 2017) – Play Advocacy through provision and training
  • the 20th International Play Association Triennial World conference in Calgary, Canada (September 13-16, 2017) – Play Training for Adults, Adventure PlayDays and Play Spaces.
  • the 8th Annual Alberta Water Safety Conference in Calgary, Canada (October 3-5, 2017) – The Importance of Play, Learning Through Play and Exploring Risk
  • the District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board ECE Appreciation Dinner in New Liskeard, Canada (October 26, 2017) – Why Play, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk
  • 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

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

  • in Sudbury, Canada (The Importance of Play, January 24, 2017)
  • in Toronto, Canada (The Importance of Play, Learning Through Play, Play in Natural Settings, Inquiry Based Learning (Fr), February 8 and 9, 2017)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Parent Engagement: Learning Through Play, February 15, 2017)
  • in Thunder Bay, Canada (The Importance of Play, Learning Through Play, Play in Natural Settings, Inquiry Based Learning, March 21, 2017)
  • in Nipigon, Canada (Parent Engagement: Learning Through Play and ECE Importance of Play workshop, March 21-22, 2017)
  • in Terrace Bay, Canada (Parent Engagement: Learning Through Play and ECE Importance of Play workshop, March 23, 2017)
  • in Manitouwadge, Canada (Parent Engagement: Learning Through Play and ECE Importance of Play workshop, March 24, 2017)
  • in Timmins, Canada (Importance of Play and Exploring Risk workshops, April 29, 2017)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Parent Engagement: Importance of Play and Exploring Risk playshop, May 6, 2017)
  • in London, Canada (Play Ambassador training session (Fr), May 16, 2017)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Parent Engagement: Importance of Play and Exploring Risk playshop, June 20, 2017)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play and Learning Through Play, June 23, 2017)
  • in Dryden, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Through Play and Exploring Risk playshop, September 21, 2017)
  • in North Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Through Play and Exploring Risk playshop, October 2, 2017)
  • in Englehart, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Through Play and Exploring Risk playshop, October 26, 2017)
  • 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 LĂ©vis, 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 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)