BTHA reveals conference details

The BTHA has announced the full line-up for its Value of Toys and Play conference on June 24th.
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The series of talks examines how toys and play can increase a child’s quality of life and aid the development of their brains and social, emotional, cognitive and learning skills.

The conference features a line up of ten world-class play experts who will inspire, challenge, inform and interact with a broad audience with an interest in play; from toy makers and developers, to academics and journalists.

The conference will tackle many different areas of play with the aim of understanding how it impacts on, and is impacted by, gender differences, health and obesity, advertising, war toys, technology, toy development, play therapy and social and emotional development.

The sessions are as follows:

  • Professor Jeffrey Goldstein (University College, Utrecht University): Toys and Play in Child Development
  • Dr. Kathleen Alfano (Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price Toy Development Unit): The Creation of Toys
  • Professor Brian Sutton-Smith (Professor Emeritus, Uni. Of Pennsylvania): 65 Years of Play Research: A Summary
  • Len Almond (Foundation Director and Senior Advisor of the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health): Toys, Active Play and Health
  • Sue Ware (Head of Play Services, Great Ormond Street Hospital): Play as Therapy
  • Professor Melissa Hines (University of Cambridge, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology): Sex Differences in Toy Preferences
  • Luisa Magalhães (University of Minho, Braga, Portugal): Does toy advertising have an impact on play?
  • Dr. Amanda Gummer (FUNdamentals): Can play encourage social development?
  • Professor David Buckingham (Director, Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media): Play and children in the digital age
  • Professor Lydia Plowman (Institute of Education, Stirling University): How dominant is technology in children’s lives?

“The Value of Toys and Play conference will provide play professionals from all walks of life with an exciting, interactive debate on the role of toys and play in society,” explained BTHA Director of Communications Natasha Crookes.

“The first class panel of speakers will share experiences, smash myths and answer a plethora of questions such as ‘can play fight obesity?’, ‘can toys change children’s behaviour?’ and ‘do toys stereotype boys and girls?’ The BTHA is honoured to be supporting such a fascinating event.”

The conference takes place on Wednesday 24th June 2009 between 9am and 4pm at BAFTA, Piccadilly, London.

Tickets are priced at just £30. To book your place at the conference contact Majen Immink on 020 7701 7271 or email Places are limited so the BTHA recommends booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


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