The Importance of Play with Dr. Jenny Nash from LEGO Transformative Principal 594

Download MP3
In this episode, we explore the power of purposeful play in education. Join us as we discuss the importance of play in the learning process, the Connecticut legislation about play in elementary grades, and the benefits of purposeful play for students. We also delve into LEGO Education that highlights the positive impact of play on learning in K-8 students.

We emphasize the importance of putting kids in the driver's seat, exploring concepts, making connections, and conducting experiments. We also discuss how building models and using natural curiosity can help students learn effectively. We encourage teachers to allow kids to find their own solutions and provide time for them to share and discuss their thought process.

We believe that purposeful play empowers students and reimagines the classroom experience. It allows everyone to find success and reach their full potential. We acknowledge the challenges of implementing purposeful play, but we emphasize the importance of engaging with the information, discussing it, and using ideas in different ways. We also highlight the need for teachers to experience playful learning firsthand and to receive ongoing professional learning. Finally, we discuss the role of principals in creating a culture of purposeful play in schools.

  • Play is about being in the moment. 
  • Purposeful play happening when we get to the goal of learning. 
  • CT Legislation about play in elementary grades
  • Over-engineering vs. open ended play. 
  • LEGO Education about K-8 students - play is a great way to help them learn. 
  • Students were more excited to go to school when they had play. 
  • Play can take so many different forms. 
  • Putting kids in the driver’s seat
  • Exploring concepts
  • Making connections
  • Experiments
  • Building models
  • Use natural curiosity. 
  • Allow kids to find their own solutions
  • Time to share and discuss how they got there. 
  • When we can really interact with the information
  • Purposeful play will empower us to reimagine the classroom experience. 
  • Everybody can find success with purposeful play. 
  • Everybody can reach the bar that is appropriate for them. 
  • The challenge is that it takes so long to do these other things
  • Engage with the information, discussion, then use ideas in a different way. 
  • How we wrap them together really matters. 
  • It can feel uncomfortable to do something new. 
  • Teachers need the love and opportunities, too. 
  • Teachers deserve some playful learning, too. 
  • Give teachers that experience first as a learner, and here are tools for you to use as well. 
  • Ongoing professional learning.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Think about where students are and how can we bring playful learning back to them. 2. Be thoughtful about what engagement really looks like
Dr. Jenny Bio, Headshot & LEGO® Education Logo: 

About Dr. Jenny Nash, Head of Education Impact, U.S., LEGO® Education: 
Dr. Jenny Nash serves as Head of Education Impact, U.S. for LEGO® Education, where she provides leadership in delivering meaningful learning experiences for students. As an advocate for playful hands-on learning, she is focused on instilling confidence in learning in students and teachers to build academic and 21st-century skills that will create active, collaborative, lifelong learners. 
She has worked in various levels of education, including as a middle and high school science teacher, professional development provider, and educational specialist. Dr. Jenny has presented at SXSW EDU, ISTE, CSTA, and NSTA among others; been quoted in publications such as Fast Company, TODAY, and District Administration; and was recognized as an Influential Woman in STEM and Tech.  
Dr. Nash received her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida, along with her master’s in teaching and bachelor’s in accounting from Marshall University. Dr. Nash is based in Wisconsin and enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and anything Disney. 

We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning

IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.

MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
The Importance of Play with Dr. Jenny Nash from LEGO Transformative Principal 594