Designing Play Invitations for Authentic Learning

Have you been looking for a comprehensive, one-stop resource that will save you YEARS of research and trial-and-error practice, and let you skip right to the head of the class as a play-based educator? 

Then read this page to discover ALL you need to know to successfully create play invitations — without spending months or years of your precious time figuring it all out! 

“How do I set up effective play invitations?”

Just about every play-based educator has been faced with this question. If you’re reading this, it’s likely on your mind, too.

👉If you’ve tried setting up play invitations and find that children play, destroy the setup, and move on within 10 minutes…

👉If you’ve been searching for ways to make sure your play invitations are effective in inspiring TRUE learning in children…

👉If you’ve been scouring the internet for a way to make things WAY simpler, clearer, and much more effective…


Truth: science backs up the idea that child-led education is the most effective path to long-term learning and intelligence.

Yet no one is really giving educators the REAL truth behind what a play invitation is, or how to design them intentionally and effectively, so that children truly engage and learn.

In Designing Play Invitations, you’ll not only learn exactly how to do this — but you’ll get all of the information and tools in 4 fun, easy-to-digest, actionable modules!

Perhaps best of all — this training is SO affordable. So you’re not only saving years of research but hundreds of dollars by choosing Designing Play Invitations today. Read on to find out all the details!

Designing Play Invitations shows you how to:



Follow a repeatable process of observing and listening to children’s play, so you can use it as the foundation for every play invitation



Design highly effective play invitations that deepen children’s play and harness the learning potential.




Identify children’s play urges, as well as a comprehensive understanding of what is driving the field of play.

You’ll learn our simple 4-stage
Listen/Reflect/Plan/Review process:

Here’s everything you’ll learn inside Designing Play Invitations:

Each video is easily digestible, at around 10 minutes in length. The entire training can be done in less than 5 hours!

Binge-watch the whole thing, or just carve out a few minutes at a time when you can… the choice is yours. There’s no fluff — everything is practical, useful, and you’ll get action steps at every stage along the way.

The materials are yours to use for a lifetime, at your convenience. Watch and listen as often as you like!

Only $97 $57 until November 1st!

Designing Play Invitations for Authentic Learning
What's Inside:

Module One: The Foundation of Effective Play Invitations

Your first lesson provides an overview of the 4-stage process that will guide the design and implementation of effective play invitations as well as the underpinning principles.
The Listening Process is the first of the 4 stages of child-driven learning. Listening is crucial to success with play-based learning (or any education, for that matter!), and provides a strong foundation for each of the other stages of the process of creating play invitations.

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

  • The biology behind why play is so effective for children’s learning and development
  • The truth about play as a critical biological drive
  • How to recognize and work with children’s play patterns and urges

You’ll leave this lesson knowing:

  • The science behind why children are hard-wired not just to play, but to LEARN through play
  • How the built-in “Curiosity Driver” prompts children to acquire information through the environment

In this lesson, you’ll discover:

  • Why social play is critical to the learning process (and how to foster social play in the learning environment, even with reluctant children!)
  • Everything you need to know about how the limbic system drives children’s learning, and how to activate it in your classroom
  • Why play offers a natural opportunity to build self-advocacy, and how this leads to a child’s ultimate success in learning — and life!

You’ll leave this lesson with an understanding of:

  • The TRUE role of the educator during a play invitation (it’s likely not what you think!)
  • The three media that will help you effectively observe and record play, and how to use them
  • How to process and organize meaningful observation records that will allow you to improve over time — and even win over skeptics of play-based learning!

Module Two: Reflection & Observation

Through the Reflection Process, you’ll build time into your teaching practice to gain a valuable understanding of how children have interacted with the play invitations, and discover how to use these insights to sustain the learning and keep children interested.
In this lesson you’ll learn how to reflect on the different ways play urges and patterns were expressed, through the materials that were used, the time spent with each, the group dynamics between the children, and the way the space was used.
Through this lesson you’ll gain an understanding of how to identify the different ways that big ideas and concepts were expressed through the play invitation. You’ll look at the questions (both verbal and non-verbal!) that arose through the activity, and detect interests and curiosities that give you clues about where to direct your next play invitations.

Next, we will look at the social relationships inside of the ideas and patterns that came up in play. You’ll gain valuable insights about:

  • How to support children in joining the play (including working around possible fallout due to COVID, or other constraints that may arise in the future!)
  • Supporting children with challenging behaviors during invitations
    Seeing the group as a learning group and not just a working group
  • Understanding the adult role as part of the group
    Communication skills that connect, engage and enhance the learning process

Module Three: Planning & Intention

The Planning Process is an important part of making play invitations intentional (rather than piece-mealing together ideas from across various sources!). Best of all, the Planning Process will save you time and frustration by taking into account the various factors that are so critical to the ultimate success of play invitations.

In this lesson, you’ll look at the various qualities of the materials children have used in your play invitation. You’ll take time to reflect on the questions children are asking, and then bring that valuable information into your planning process.

We’ll review things like:

  • Mindfulness of culture and diversity
  • Materials as potentialities of learning
  • What materials will spark another level of engagement
In this lesson, you’ll learn to design aesthetic displays with meaning and intention, so that children’s interest is piqued and they want to engage with the activity. Curiosity can be provoked simply by a display that is well thought out in terms of aesthetics. This doesn’t mean your play invitation has to be elaborate or fancy, though! In fact, intention and thoughtfulness will be your best tools in this area. Children will bring their imagination to the activity. You’ll also learn how to “go with the flow” and allow children to direct the play, even if it differs from your original concept or planning.
You’ll learn why the intention behind your invitation to play is so critical to its success — and how to set an intention that is meaningful, while allowing plenty of space for children’s imagination and the natural play process to unfold.

Module Four: Pulling It All Together

The Review Process is the final stage in designing and implementing play invitations that inspire learning and keep children engaged and interested. Building this step into your practice will save you TONS of time that would otherwise be wasted in “trial and error.” Instead, you’ll have a systematic way of measuring the effectiveness of your play invitation and moving forward with increasing effectiveness over time.
In this training, you’ll learn a process for reviewing what children actually did with the invitation, and how to use it to create more effective activities moving forward. We’ll talk about the ONE thing you should never do when children show disinterest in a play invitation — and what to do instead! This is a critical stage of the learning journey and can make ALL the difference in the effectiveness of your teaching practice — and, quite frankly, in your own joy and fulfillment with your work!
In this lesson you’ll learn to unpack what did not support the field of play, and you’ll learn how to use this information effectively to plan future activities that are even more engaging, intentional, and effective! You’ll leave with a process for reviewing each of specific planning points that will help you save valuable time in designing future play invitations.
In our last lesson together, we’ll review the entire learning journey you’ve just taken. It’s important to take time to reflect and review rather than simply moving on to the “next thing.” We’ll celebrate how far you’ve come, and you’ll leave with nuggets of wisdom for taking your next steps in your teaching practice!

Hi, I’m Sally Haughey!

For the past 12  years, as the founder and CEO of Fairy Dust Teaching, I’ve been at the helm of providing an outstanding online education platform to help you do what you do best: make a difference in your students’ lives.

At Fairy Dust Teaching, we’re here to help you become the best educator you can be! Our company is built on a passion for the wonder and magic of early childhood. We reach tens of thousands of early childhood educators every day who believe young children have the right to play, to be collaborators in learning, and to dream.

I’ll never forget the moment I stood in front of my first classroom 24 years ago. All 18 young eyes were fixed on me, and in that sacred moment I realized these children trusted me — and I vowed never to take that trust lightly. I’m sure you feel the same about the children you teach, which is why everything I create to help other educators is imbued with intention and authenticity. Your trust is as important to me as YOUR commitment to provide an outstanding education for the young minds in your care.

With Designing Play Invitations, we’re bringing you an accessible, comprehensive training that gives you absolutely everything you need to create play invitations that engage children and inspire true learning. You’ll gain the confidence to promote and defend play with science-based information and actionable tools and steps that will help you design play invitations that ROCK. At Fairy Dust Teaching, we truly believe that peace on our planet begins and ends with how we educate our children. As an educator, you play a critical role in the future of our world. We honor your dedication and commitment, and invite you to join us in shaping a future that works for everyone!

This training will give you the confidence and the practical tools to design and implement intentional, engaging, effective play invitations.

Save years of research and practice!

This is a comprehensive resource to help you design and implement highly effective play invitations!

Early, Early Bird

Until November 1, 2021
$ 57 USD/ person
  • 6 hour PD Certificate

Early Bird Price

Until December 4, 2021
$ 97 USD / person
  • 6 hour PD Certificate

Regular Price

After December 4, 2021
$ 147 USD / person
  • 6 hour PD Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

  •  If, for any reason, you do not receive your receipt after making your purchase, please email us at and we will be happy to help!

Great question! You have 24/7 lifetime access to all of these trainings. (Each Saturday, starting on October 23rd and ending on December 11 a new set of videos will be released. Once you have received all 4 modules, you will have lifetime access to the sessions on your lifetime access dashboard) –

Each training purchased grants access for 1 person. We ask that you do not share your login information with your colleagues. When 3 or more individual courses are purchased at the same time, we are excited to offer a 20% group discount. Please click here email us at for more information.

  • Designing Play Invitations comes with a 6-hour PD certificate. Since each region is a little different with what they accept for PD training hours, we encourage all program participants to check directly with their province/state/territory/board to confirm if our program meets their standards.

Great question! You get this as a member of the Wonder League. So, please do not buy it. You will get access inside the Wonder League site.