The Role of Parenting Support Programs in Promoting and Sustaining Playful Parenting 

When:                  July 8th, 12:30 – 14:00 (Netherlands time)

Duration:             90 minutes

For whom:          This webinar will be of interest to implementing organizations/NGO’s, as well as to academics

In light of the risks the Covid-19 pandemic and its mitigation measures have created on children’s human rights, various organizations have highlighted the heightened need to support children’s right to play. A wide variety of international organizations have developed and shared tips, programs, and a vast amount of resources for families to support their own and their children’s mental health, as well as their children’s learning, development, and well-being during this crisis. Acknowledging the importance of safeguarding the mental well-being of children during the crisis, one of the central tenets in many of the resources is the importance of play and the therapeutic role it has in helping children recover a sense of normality and joy. Continuing to promote play, warm and responsive interactions, and positive discipline practices are seen as critical in ensuring a psychosocial and social-emotional environment, that supports children’s development and well-being.

Yet, play is therapeutic not only for children but for parents too. According to Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M. Golinkoff, play can help not only children but also “parents who are stressed by extra burdens as they struggle to switch off, trying to stay on top of work at home, while schooling and feeding the children in small spaces."

International organizations, such as the International Play Organization and LEGO Foundation have committed to protecting children’s right to play and to support families in playful parenting. Given the importance of play for both children and adults as well as research results which highlight that parents may need support in developing “playful skills”, it is important to highlight child-parent playtime as a mental health promotion strategy for all children (Seekamp, 2019).

Acknowledging that this should be a high priority on the agenda of immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis, in terms of parenting support provision, this webinar aspires to highlight why playful parenting is a win-win situation for both children and adults in general but also during crises like Covid-19 and to share insights how we can ensure playful, warm and responsive interactions between children and their parents.

This webinar shares

  • What is playful parenting?
  • How and why playful parenting is a win-win situation for both children and adults in general but also during crises like COVID-19?
  • How can play mitigate the challenges COVID-19 has created for families and how it fulfils parents’ and children’s well-being and resilience?
  • How playful parenting programs are different from other programs and how other implementation organizations can promote and integrate playful parenting in their work?
  • What are the key challenges in promoting playful parenting among professionals and parents and how can these challenges be overcome?


Panelists and moderator


Diego Adame, Director, Playful Parenting, LEGO Foundation

Dr. Giorgio Tamburlini, President, Centre for Child Health and Development (Centro per la Salute del Bambino)

Anduena Alushaj, Program Manager, Centre for Child Health and Development (Centro per la Salute del Bambino)

Dr. Jelena Zajeganovic-Jakovljevic, Early Childhood Development Specialist, UNICEF Serbia

Kristina Drini, Junior Educational Specialist, Center for Interactive Pedagogy  

Dr. Konstantina Rentzou, Senior Program Manager, ISSA


Watch past ISSA webinars

Early childhood educators: Supporting professionalism during COVID-19 – Examples from Albania, Croatia and the Netherlands


Download the webinar presentation.