About the Authors

Dr. Janet Millar Grant

J Millar Grant - Head Shot

Having spent over 30 years pursing playfulness, the Arts, the pedagogy of play and the role of play in our classrooms and schools, Dr. Grant seeks  to playfully encounter life experiences, and increase the playfulness in the daily lives of all elementary school learners. Currently executive staff with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Dr. Janet Millar Grant knows why play is important in our Elementary schools!

Anna-Marie Nielsen


Research and more than 25 years of professional anecdotal evidence confirm that students’ engagement increases when they are involved in real-world tasks where new information is linked to prior knowledge and effective communication, collaboration and hands-on interaction are valued. This is as much PLAY for the junior-intermediate student as it is for the early learner.  When students are inspired to ‘muck around’, to question with unbridled curiosity and to risk innovating ‘out of the box’, that is when PLAY has the potential to transform learning.

WRITING TEAM (in alpha order by surname)

Sylvia Chiang

Chiang, S - Head Shot

Sylvia uses the magic of play to enchant students to communicate in French at all levels (Immersion, Extended and Core). She knows that meaningful, play-based activities encourage authentic use of the target language. Plus, everyone learns more when they are having fun.

Lorraine Holt

Holt, L - Head Shot

Lorraine is currently a special-education teacher with the Peel District school board. Prior to this position, she taught core from grade one to grade seven. Lorraine is passionate about the in the power of cooperative learning and play to create community within the classroom.

Sarah Lasko

Lasko, S - Head Shot

The majority of Sarah’s teaching experience is as a Core French teacher “à la carte”.  When travelling classroom to classroom, Sarah has found that meaningful play is a great way to reduce the nervousness that students might feel when being asked to take risks and speak in French.   Play helps her students to feel more at ease, solidifies their knowledge, and makes the teaching and learning experience truly enjoyable for all!

Clyre Lyndley

Lyndley, C - Head Shot

Clyre has taught Kindergarten to Grade 12, but the majority of her teaching experience has been in the Intermediate years. She holds a Master’s Degree with a focus on games in the classroom to improve student achievement. Clyre believes that play facilitates students’ abilities to make connections between concepts, as well as builds positive social relationships, especially in the Intermediate classroom.

Denise Mabee

Mabee, D - Head Shot

Throughout 24 years of experience as a primary, junior and intermediate teacher, Denise has always found inspiring ways to reach the different needs of her students.  Meaningful play is one of those effective ways.  By using play in her classroom, Denise engages students to reach their full social, emotional and intellectual potentials while making learning fun and enjoyable.

Shamim Murji

Murji, S - Head Shot

In Shamim’s classroom, students interact and connect with each other through discussions, drama and debates to hear a diversity of perspectives which creates a classroom with a sense of ownership, openness and fun.

Jasmin Tucker

Tucker, J - Head Shot

Jasmin has found through her experience with special education that play can remove many of the obstacles to learning. Through play, self-judgement fades into the background. Students readily embrace and assimilate the concrete experience which makes it easier to move them towards the more abstract aspects of learning, such as conceptualization, categorization and cross referencing of ideas.