I couldn't resist the opportunity to join impresario Tom Shea's famous annual gathering of international early childhood education leaders in Reykjavik this October. And, notwithstanding touring the local otherworldly landscape with glimpses of mountains and the sea, a dip in the Blue Lagoon, and descent deep down a lava tube(!), for me the most memorable part of the program was the opportunity to meet so many brilliant and powerful women. A mix of nursery school directors, teachers, and ECE thought leaders, each is contributing to a robust peer network to share best practices, discuss new methodologies, and forge new friendships. Together we enjoyed visiting local schools, listening to thoughtful presentations and performances, and engaging in long conversations punctuated by hearty meals and the occasional adult beverage. The Play Iceland conference is an experience not to be missed. xoxoxo
When I confirmed my place on International Play Iceland, I hoped to come away from this once-in-a-lifetime experience with my head hurting from thinking. I certainly achieved that! This was a week filled with phenomenal experiences, captivating visits, international networking and vast amounts of new knowledge. I have come away from this trip still deep in thought and reflecting on BIG ideas. Thanks to Tom, Ollie and Disa for the exceptional organisation of this trip and to Teacher Tom, Marghanita, Niki, and Jennifer for the inspirational talks along the way. One of the very best aspects of Play Iceland has been the networking with fellow delegates and with teachers in Iceland - it is amazing to hear how very different early childhood appears in different countries, yet how the challenges we face along the way are so very similar. Highly recommend Play Iceland to anyone wanting a completely new experience that is thought-provoking and down right good fun too.
This is not a conference: it is an ECE experience, one that I’ve been involved with from the start. I always learn, but more importantly, I return home more whole. I’ve come to expect the unexpected from the schools we visit and the magical country of Iceland, but it is the sharing of this experience with fellow ECE educators from around the world that makes Play Iceland the one-of-a-kind, transformative experience it is. I recommend it to to anyone seeking to broaden and deepen their experience as an ECE professional.
I was so privileged to join the 2019 adventure in Iceland. What a well organised ,insightful,magically wonderful opportunity. Absolutely follow ALL the Play Iceland rules especially getting to know fellow candidates and be inspired what is being done around the world by like-minded people.All good things must come to an end......I would definitely recommend it.
What an amazing opportunity play Iceland was for me. Not only did I learn and get to experience a lot, I also learnt a lot about myself. I went on the trip, only knowing Tom. I came away with new friends and a lot more confidence. It was lovely to explore the different settings and see how differently they are. A once in a lifetime trip, which I am truly grateful to of been a part of. Thank you so much to everyone who organises the trip, you do an amazing job.
Where do I start ? From UK to Iceland my journey has been an incredible adventure uplifted even more by the amazing and passion driven practitioners I met along the way and who made this experience so unique. I have gained knowledge from , shared ideas with , felt Inspired by wonderful human beings who are willing to bring wonder and miracle into children’s lives by giving them the best start in Early Childhood Thank you Tom your uniqueness is beautiful and so inspiring ❤️Ollie and Disa are absolute legends organising everything to the very small detail and ensuring we had the best time and oh so patient! . Cheers to friends I made, the fabulous motivational speakers, the warm Icelandic people and to great moments! If you can make it don’t miss International Play Iceland!
Wow! What an experience! Tom, Ollie and Disa and others that we met and helped with our amazing experience thank you so very much. The passion and commitment you have for this project and children’s well-being and play is infectious. You are all very inspiring and motivating. I had an amazing time, meeting and hanging out with other passionate people as well as getting to experience so many amazing places. I have taken so much knowledge away with me and so look forward to hopefully sharing that back with you all one day. I would recommend Play Iceland to anyone with a passion for child well fare, creativity, open heartedness, adventure and wonder. Thank you again, arohanui (much love)
Leaving an Australian warm sunny spring I headed to the UK and Iceland to learn a few things Alongside children to play and learn and reignite my teaching passion and maintain its’ burn Meeting Tom Shea who was to be our host A gentle caring man wiser than most Filled me with warmth sincerity and hope That play for children is as important as religion to a Pope Although the weather was slightly cooler and grey Together we made shine the value of play And learnt from professionals from far and wide Who instilled in us knowledge and pride. The wonderful Disa introduced us to her family and homeland The schools, nurseries and beautiful Iceland And many places we travelled under Ollie’s plans...a very patient fun and tolerant man. We journeyed into volcanoes, ate well and touched black sand Warmed in pools, played games and were fans of the Tim and Ollie band. Respect I have loads for other educators I met New friendships I’ve made and won’t forget An although no Northern lights this time over the sea Shining lights in others I did see With heartfelt thanks to Tom , Disa and Ollie And all who taught and educated me I’ve left with inspiration, joy and glee And who knew..even found the light in me.
I spent 5 days in Iceland as part of international play 2019 and it was absolutely magical. I came away feeling inspired and motivated after spending time in beautiful nurseries with passionate teachers and practitioners. The visits and activities act as a catalyst for reflective conversation with the other trip goers, leading to new insights and a wealth of shared knowledge and experience. A massive thanks to all those involved!
Although I would dearly be able to invest in the full Play Iceland experience one day, I have participated in the seminar programme for 2 years and on both occasions I came away energized! The speakers share their passion for excellent early years care and education, and I hope to be able to infuse that energy into my own practice in a home-based setting.
International Play Iceland has been an important part of my journey into expanding my knowledge and practice within the early years. I have and continue to gain so much from what l observe in the Icelandic schools and the conversations l shared with other participants from around the world. International Play Iceland is a great opportunity and l highly recommend it to everyone. I have made some lifelong friendships and connections with so many special people. Tom, Ollie, Linda and Disa work so hard to organise everything and help make the experience truly magical.