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 15,376 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, 15,045 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 14 year old son Tom (from whom he learns much) in an off-grid, straw bale house nestled within 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 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
  • via videoconference for The Milton Community Resource Centre Symposium on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (October 28, 2022) – Children’s Play: Nurturing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (two workshops, one in English and one in French)
  • the District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board in Englehart, Canada (January 16, 2023) – The Importance of Play in Times of Crisis
  • via videoconference for the City of Toronto Children Services (May 10 and May 17, 2023) – Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk (two workshops, one in English and one in French)
  • Communities Together for Children, Dad Engagement presentation in Thunder Bay, Canada (October 11, 2023 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Dilico Anishinabek Family Care EarlyON, Parent Engagement Adventure PlayDay, Thunder Bay, Canada (October 14, 2023) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Brass Bell Family Resources, Community presentation in Nipigon, Canada (October 16, 2023 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • Brass Bell Family Resources, Community presentation in Terrace Bay, Canada (October 17, 2023 – evening session) – Importance of Play and Exploring Risk
  • via videoconference for The Milton Community Resource Centre Symposium on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (October 20, 2023) – Outdoor Spaces for Play in French
  • via videoconference for the graduate students in the Master Interdisciplinaire en droits de l’enfant at the University of Geneva, Switzerland (November 28, 2023) – Importance of play, learning through play and inquiry, exploring risk and play deprivation – in French
  • via videoconference for Brass Bell Family Resources staff (November 29, 2023) – Importance of play, play in nature, exploring risk and play in times of crisis
  • Carrefour francophone administration staff in Sudbury, Canada (January 15, 2024) – Importance of play, play in nature, exploring risk and play deprivation
  • Carrefour francophone Board of Directors in Sudbury, Canada (February 20, 2024) – Importance of play, play in nature, exploring risk and play deprivation

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

  • 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 plFrench Catholic School Boardayshop (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)
  • in Brandon, Canada for the Annual YMCA-Brandon Healthy Families Early Years Conference (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible, Exploring Risk and Inquiry-Based Learning full-day in person workshop, October 21, 2022)
  • in Toronto, Canada for the French Catholic School Board MonAvenir (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk full-day in person workshop (Fr), November 26, 2022)
  • via videoconference for The Milton Community Resource Centre (Children’s Play: Nurturing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, February 15 (in English) and February 16 (in French), 2023)
  • in Chelmsford, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible and Exploring Risk – half-day in person workshop, March 10, 2023)
  • in Pembroke, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Learning Environment and Exploring Risk – full-day in person workshop, March 24, 2023)
  • in Oshawa, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Learning Environment and Exploring Risk – half-day in person workshop in French, April 01, 2023)
  • in Kanata, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Learning Environment and Exploring Risk – full-day in person workshop in French, May 27, 2023)
  • in Hamilton, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Learning Environment and Exploring Risk – half-day in person workshop in French, June 09, 2023)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts – half-day in person workshop in French, June 14, 2023)
  • in Thunder Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, Learning Environment, Outdoor Play, Exploring Risk and Play in Times of Crisis – full-day in person workshop, October 12, 2023)
  • via videoconference for The Centre grandir en français in Thunder Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Learning Environment and Exploring Risk – half-day workshop in French, October 26, 2023)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts and Play in Times of Crisis – half-day in person workshop, November 13, 2023)
  • in Muskoka, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts – half-day in person workshop, November 18, 2023)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts and Play in Times of Crisis – half-day in person workshop, December 20, 2023)
  • in Sudbury, Canada (Importance of Play, Exploring Risk, Outdoor Play with Loose Parts and Play in Times of Crisis – half-day in person workshop, December 21, 2023)
  • in North Bay, Canada (Importance of Play, How Does Learning Happen? Ministry Document, Making the Learning Visible, Exploring Risk and Play in Nature – 2 half-day in person workshops, April 27, 2024)
  • in London, Canada (Importance of Play, Making the Learning Visible, Play in Nature, Exploring Risk and Play Deprivation – half-day in person workshop, May 04, 2024)