Playful Learning Day 1

From fake receptions to escape rooms, the highlights of the first day.


  1. Registration was never going to be straightforward, so early arrivals soon find that they had to pass a marble run test before finding the real desk. It looks like our first two international guests (Jo and Peter) passed with flying colours...
  2. Onto the real desk, where some interesting items awaited.
  3. Things also started appearing on the Spanish Steps: the central playful area of the venue.
  4. 80+ guests with or without their marbles then joined the Chairs (Nic, Mark and Alex) for the opening.
  5. Katie, our chief Playmaker, then introduced a modern twist on Pass the Parcel, to get the audience meeting and trading with each other.
  6. There was a brief pause in proceedings as our first keynote, Nikki Pugh, refused to speak until she received a rare marble from the audience. Fortunately, some swapping action allowed things to proceed.
  7. Nikki told us five stories that introduced her themes of the power of engaging in play:
  8. Then it was time to explore sessions and various playful activities around the venue. Over the three days, many small groups found themselves pining for the seaside - and found relief in a conversation game designed by Giskin Day, available from reception...
  9. Elsewhere, people were squishing playdoh (used by Gemma Lace to engage her students in biomedical sciences), working with game changer Luca Morini on 'ethical hacking', and exploring 'negative play' with Bernd Remmele.