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Creative Spirit - Joy In Learning / Character Education

Healthy Play Character Education Workshops
Classroom Consultation

Attending a Healthy Play Safer School / Smarter Student character education training teaches all participants knowledge to successfully implement the program on the following day at your school or organization. Faculty and parents will be able to easily duplicate this process with their own students and children. We've worked very hard to distill our concepts and information into a practical, elegant and simple format.

"I'll tell anyone that Healthy Play has made teaching for me one of the easiest and most rewarding jobs I ever could have. I set the daily expectations of the program with the students for the first month. After that, they run the process smoothly all day long for the rest of the year. And, this was a class of 27 children that had seven mainstreamed special education students attending. It made school a joy for all of us."

Kay Ann Well, Teacher, Warren Elementary

Healthy Play empowers you to manage your class by creating an environment where students learn self-control and essential social skills. It works because the core philosophy is simple enough for students to duplicate. It works because our program is not a burden for teachers to implement. It works because the focus is on education and removing obstacles that impede learning. It works because play is a fundamental tool for learning where children practice again and again the skills necessary to become successful adults. It works because students and teachers put joy back into learning. It works because it is FUN and kids will do it!

Real Hands-On Training

Attending a Healthy Play workshop is about learning by doing. You will participate in 20-25 educational activities that you will be able to duplicate the following day in your class or setting. Be part of the step-by-step approach of how to set up every aspect of this process with your students. Additionally, four brief lectures and four planned discussion periods are provided. We also role-play several of the most common behavior problems and demonstrated practical/realistic solutions that your students will be able to learn from. Healthy Play uses all of the different multiple intelligences. Finally, our 14-page handout frees you to experience the curriculum and not take notes.

Come Join Us!

This training has been developed for teachers, counselors, teacher aids, youth service professional and parents working with elementary school age children. (A special pre-school training is also available). Principals will find this is a perfect opportunity to preview the quality of our program before bringing it to their whole faculty.

"Last year three people attended the Healthy Play training and used what they learned with our students. It worked so well for them that we trained our entire faculty. At one point this year we went 12 weeks without a single referral for playground fighting."

Janell Black, Principal, Phoenix

Healthy Play Dynamics Will Enable You To:

  • Reduce and manage aggression in and out of the classroom
  • Bring educational play curriculum into your existing academic subjects
  • Build character
  • Provide practical experiences that teach students compassion and nurturing behaviors
  • Promote problem solving
  • Have more time for academics

Background on the Healthy Play Program

For 15 years while working in a mental health setting we had been called on to provide play sessions for classes in our community. By 1992, the demand for our services had become so frequent that we developed Creative Spirit and began sharing this process with teachers, business leaders, parents and mental health professionals.

Since then, Healthy Play training programs have been successfully implemented in hundreds of settings across the country. In the past nine years we have worked directly in the classroom with 200,000 students. These extensive practical experiences in schools have allowed us to develop Healthy Play’s workable approach to classroom management, character education and making safer schools and smarter students.

Learning to Play, Playing to Learn

Essential in our approach has been our experience, which is supported by research, that children learn by doing kinetic activities. Students improve all skills with repetitive practice. Children want/need to be safe and their level of behavioral and academic functioning mirrors the comfort that they feel. Our goal was to reduce the vast amount of positive and supportive research about play into a concise, elegant and easy program. Healthy Play has evolved into the format where students learn life skills by doing them versus reading or talking about them. We have purposefully kept our approach simple and have only two key philosophical points and two rules which students must learn to master.

The Presenters

Charlie Steffens and Spencer Gorin, co-authors of Learning to Play, Playing to Learn, met while working with children and adolescents in a Tucson psychiatric hospital. Here we saw children challenged by the most serious problems imaginable and learned about the therapeutic healing capacity of play. After 20 combined years of mental health experience it was natural for us to move on with our mission and develop Creative Spirit to help all children.

Our medical background and training has given us unique insights into the educational system. This perspective has allowed us to share tools that have not been maximized in the classroom or playground setting. Likewise working with over 5,000 teachers has allowed us to learn the best qualities that educational professionals have to offer.

"Being able to participate so completely was exhilarating. Knowing that all the information would be provided in the handout was a stress reduction factor."

Connie O’Dell, Teacher, Tucson

"I was introduced to Healthy Play as the National Association of School Counselors Conference. I was so excited about the concept that I brought the whole program to our school. It was the first inservice that everybody in the entire faculty agreed was worth their time to attend."

Trish Hatch, Counselor, Moreno Valley, CA

Open Training Dates & Locations

520-878-9223 Call for more information.

More Information on Character Education Workshops and Character Education Training

Fee: $65 per person with lunch included.

Workshop Reservations

Call 520-878-9223 to phone in your reservation. Confirmed workshop attendees will receive a confirmation letter and a map to the site of their training.

Odds And Ends

Creative Spirit workshops are designed for no more than 50 participants. We want to make this learning experience as personal and effective as possible. This does mean that only the first 50 registered participants can attend the session.

Seventy-five percent of the workshop is experiential. Please dress VERY comfortably. Tennis shoes are a must.  Feel free to join every activity or choose to observe when that feels most comfortable for you.

Creative Spirit provides certificates of attendance for six hours of in-service training.

Healthy Play Workshop Options

Attending a Healthy Play training teaches all participants the necessary knowledge to successfully implement the program on the following day at their school. We have worked very hard to distill our concepts and information into a practical, elegant and simple format. Faculty and parents will be able to easily duplicate this process with their own students and children.

Our step-by-step approach equips all participants with tools for using Healthy Play as effective classroom and playground management. Your staff will be able to support and enhance positive student social skills, reduce aggression, foster nurturing behaviors, promote cooperation and maximize involvement via 25 quality activities. Students will be able to learn and practice Healthy Play concepts daily. The training will also instruct teachers how to create and modify additional curriculum material.

* Classroom Consultation

We go into your classrooms! This alone, makes Creative Spirit uniquely different from almost any other character education program. In fact, many schools elect to have Creative Spirit staff immediately initiate the Healthy Play process in your classes on the same day of your training. We gladly demonstrate our expertise in using this process while modeling many useful techniques for your staff to learn.

Additionally, the healthy play training is a warm, relaxing and stimulating team building retreat. Approximately 75% or more of your time at the training will be spent doing "hands-on" activities with each other. You’ll all appreciate this enjoyable time together filled with bonding and laughter.

Of special note is the fact that we use less than $25.00 in equipment. Excess expenses to purchase equipment are either not necessary or very minimal should you choose to duplicate our materials.

Individual School Training

Many schools like to implement the Healthy Play process as an entire community. There are a number of different training programs we offer and can include the direct classroom sessions with the students and the teachers. Prices vary depending on the service. Please contact us for a fuller menu of these programs.

Program #1: Full Day training for an individual school consisting of the Healthy Play Is A Solution Philosophy, Creative Play, Compassionate Play, Soft Aggression concepts and over 25 hands-on activities. Full day teacher training (6-8 hours) provided by two Creative Spirit staff. A maximum of 50 participants may attend. (Teachers, monitors and parents should be invited.) Ten pages of notes on the Healthy Play philosophy, rules, play structure and activities have already been prepared and will be distributed to all participants. All you have to do is play!

Program #2: Three day program of the Healthy Play Is A Solution Philosophy, Creative Play, Compassionate Play, Soft Aggression concepts and over 25 hands-on activities plus classroom consultations for an individual school. Three 2-hour teacher-training sessions (6 hours) provided by two Creative Spirit staff. This program also includes 18 one-hour classroom sessions with your students and teachers in the morning of your training. A maximum of 50 participants may attend. (Teachers, monitors and parents should be invited.) Ten pages of notes on the Healthy Play philosophy, rules, play structure and activities have already been prepared and will be distributed to all participants. All you have to do is play!

Healthy Play Workshops

Program #3: Two day program consisting of the Healthy Play Is A Solution Philosophy, Creative Play, Compassionate Play concepts and over 20 hands-on activities plus classroom consultations for an individual school. Two 2-hour teacher-training sessions (4 hours) provided by two Creative Spirit staff. This program also includes 12 one-hour classroom sessions with your students and teachers in the morning of your training. A maximum of 50 participants may attend. (Teachers, monitors and parents should be invited.) Ten pages of notes on the Healthy Play philosophy, rules, play structure and activities have already been prepared and will be distributed to all participants. All you have to do is play!

Program #4: One-half day training consisting of the Healthy Play Is A Solution Philosophy, Creative Play concepts for an individual school and over 15 hands-on activities. Half-day teacher-training (2-3 hours) session provided by two Creative Spirit staff. This program also includes 6 one-hour classroom sessions with your students and teachers in the morning of your training. A maximum of 50 participants may attend. (Teachers, monitors and parents should be invited.) Ten pages of notes on the Healthy Play philosophy, rules, play structure and activities have already been prepared and will be distributed to all participants. All you have to do is play!

Open Training

Often, districts like sponsoring a Healthy Play seminar so that many teachers, counselors, and monitors from different schools can attend. This is a very useful way to view and begin implementing the Creative Spirit approach by the widest possible audience. It is also an effective means to determine if specific schools in your district would desire a full training for their whole faculty. The program is designed for a maximum of 50 participants and may be held any day of the week. Classroom consultations with students can be added if desired in six to eight hour sections on the day(s) preceding or following the training.

Follow-Up Training

Upon completion and usage of a Healthy Play Is A Solution program your school will soon be ready for a shorter (2-4 hour) follow-up  Safer School – Smarter Student training. Tighten up the behavioral gains of utilizing the program as well as delving deeper into utilizing play to bring the joy in learning math, spelling, geography and other academic skills.

Train The Trainers

The train the trainer program is a 12 hour format designed for 4 faculty members to attend from each participating school. This is an intensive two-day program where the philosophy, activity structure and over forty indoor and outdoor curriculum activities will be taught. The focus will be on preparing each team of four participants on how to present a Healthy Play training at their school.

The first day will consist primarily of our basic six-hour seminar. On the second day, participants will be divided into the four sections of the Healthy Play program. They will practice leading their specific section of the material and be positively critiqued by the Creative Spirit staff and their peers. Each group of four members will then be able as a team to teach the complete Healthy Play program to their entire faculty, student mentors, parents or other community groups.

Planning Your Healthy Play is a Solution Program at Your Own Site

We require that you provide a large indoor space, (a cafeteria or gymnasium is ideal). The area should be free from furniture, etc. except for chairs for the participants. Access to a grassy outdoor area or basketball court is necessary, weather permitting. An amplifier will also be needed.

Participants should bring their sense of humor, and willingness to have fun. Comfortable casual clothing should be worn. Tennis shoes are highly recommended. Skirts and dresses may be sometimes awkward. Although there are many kinetic activities, our program is designed so that EVERYONE can participate to their own individual ability.

You are welcome to plan some sort of snacks or beverages but we encourage you to keep it simple. If planning a 6-8 hour single day training we encourage that everyone bring a lunch or that arrangements be made so that people can eat at the training site.

We are creative and flexible so please feel free to postulate your specific school’s needs. We may be able to develop something special if we know what you are looking to achieve. In some small school districts it may be possible to merge two schools together for a training.

Want to bring a Healthy Play training to your school? Contact us today!


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Contact Us

Spencer Gorin
520-878-9223

Charlie Steffens 520-790-8038

Creative Spirit
6062 East Beverly
Tucson, Arizona 85711

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