Frequently Asked Questions

A Primer on Who We Are and What We Do

What is Play?

Play is freely chosen, self-directed. Play is an internal drive to discover and expand what we can do without internal or external pressure to perform. Ultimately, play is fail-proof because the discovery and activity of flow-filled play is the aim not the end result.

Play is the most holistic activity anyone can do physically, emotionally, mentally, and, yes, spiritually. When we play, we become our truest and best selves.

What is PURE Play?

PURE is an acronym for some of the key elements of play the kind of play we’re addressing:
P — Purposeful (The child initiates their own purpose)
Adults aren’t privy to a child’s purpose, but every child who plays is on a mission. They will stick at it until they’ve accomplished their goal. Whoever said that children have a short attention span hasn’t watched a child in deep play.

U — Unstructured (unpredictable with chaos*)
Adults like to plan out what will happen next. Play doesn’t work that way. Given the same materials, children will play with them in a myriad of ways. Ingenuity at its best is a child given open-ended materials. Chaos is often the biggest complaint about play. There are children and things everywhere. But that is in the eye of the untrained adult. Read about CHAOS and see something new.

R — Requisite (necessary)
Requisite is not a commonly used word. Here are some synonyms: essential, required, imperative. Play is as important to a child’s development as……

E — Engaging (self-directed interest)
Children will be engaged in an activity that is interesting to them. For play to be pure play, the child chooses the direction and nature of the activity. This is one reason video games don’t fit our definition of play—while they may choose to “play” the game, they are subject to the predetermined constraints of the programming infrastructure.

Who Are the Training Workshops For?

Our workshops are designed professional educators, childcare staff, and library staff, but the content will benefit anyone who has children in their life: Parents, grandparents, volunteers at churches, etc. The foundational knowledge of the power of play, play behavior phases, and best play facilitation practices is beneficial because play is important no matter how hold you are.

Visit our Workshops page to learn more!

Do You Do Events at Schools?

Yes! We love coming to schools and creating special events for students. We have a wide range of play scenarios that we can create for you. We can also develop play activities that complement your curriculum or recent areas of study. 

You can request an event by completing the form on our Calendar page. When doing so, please provide as much information as possible so we can develop a proposal that meets your needs.

What is Loose Parts Play?

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, manipulated and built with freely without specific direction. These materials can be natural or man-made. Natural and recycled materials are especially good because they give children freedom to choose how it will be used in play.

Loose Parts Play is self-directed, child-driven and open-ended. It’s play with materials he or she can move, manipulate, and build with freely without specific direction. These materials can be natural or man-made. Natural and recycled materials are especially good because they give
children freedom to choose how it will be used in play.

How Do I Book a Public or Private Event?

We are constantly working with schools, child care centers, businesses and other organizations to schedule play events. Pure Play Every Day can do everything from small birthday parties to setting up play areas at large festivals and fairs.

Whether your event is public or private, large or small, you can get the process started by completing the form on our Calendar page. Once we’ve gathered enough information, we’ll develop a personalized proposal for you. 

If you have questions, you can always contact us at 240.416.9727 or

What is the STEAM Room?

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Our STEAM Room is located in Waldorf, and it’s a dedicated space where we can create play opportunities that build skills in STEAM!

Through loose parts play, hands-on games, pretend play, activity nooks and more, we build socialization skills and exercise those creativity muscles!

Visit our STEAM Room page to learn more!

How Can We Donate Items for Play?

We are always accepting donations of resources that we can use for Pure Play events and projects. You’d be surprised at just how many items laying around your home or business right now can be turned into play objects.

Visit our Donate Resources page to learn what items can be donated and where you can bring them!

Have another question? We’re happy to answer it!

“Play is the answer to the question, ‘How does anything new ever come about?’”

— Jean Piaget

Swiss psychologist