About IPA

Who Should Come?
We invite all those dedicated to children’s play or play environments with an interest in one or more of the conference themes, including those from the following disciplines:


Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

“That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts. That member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.”

IPA is an international organization founded in Denmark in 1961 and has members in over 50 countries. It is an interdisciplinary organization, bringing together people from all professions working for and with children, including playworkers, planners, psychologists, educators, academics, architects, artists, researchers, childcare workers, trainers, health workers, and landscape designers. The purpose of IPA is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right.
IPA Canada was formed in 1978 after IPA’s triennial conference that year in Ottawa. The Canadian organization provides a vehicle for multi-disciplinary exchange and action towards preserving the child’s right to play in Canada.

The Importance of Play
Play is fundamental to all aspects of child development and is a key component in preserving community and culture. Children’s play presents rich opportunities for their social, physical moral and emotional development and as such, must be preserved and protected. Through play children explore cause and effect and gradually build a knowledge base that cannot be taught through structured learning activities. Play is a vehicle for the development of creativity and flexibility, invaluable qualities in human development.

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