ENERGETIC PRESENTATIONS

Booking Denita

Booking Denita for a speaking engagement is simple. Contact her via EMAIL ( playcounts.denitadinger@gmail.com) or PHONE (605-362-9065).

Fees

Contact Denita for current speaking fees.

Current Keynotes and Workshop Offerings

Play speaks for itself, and Denita Dinger speaks enthusiastically for play as well. She is passionate about providing positive, play-centered environments that promote self-exploration, imagination and all of the "the important stuff". Independent problem solving, confidence, self-control, owning discoveries, cooperating, sharing, asking for what we need, instigating, confidence, leading and listening are what Denita considers the "important stuff". The important stuff builds the base for which all learning can successfully build upon.

Firmly believing that following young children will produce the most amazing learning opportunities, Denita thrives on thinking outside the box, and is quick on her toes to enhance child-led, play-centered learning. She has been the owner and operator of Giggles and Grins, a family child care / preschool program in Sioux Falls, SD since 1998. She closed that business May of 2014 to open Kaleidoscope Play School to make more time for speaking and consulting. Denita uses her BS in Eled and Early Childhood Ed. to not only find clever ways for young children to learn through natural discovery and investigative play, but to also "sell" play to parents who are expecting "worksheet learning".

Denita's presentations are heartfelt, humorous, valuable and most importantly, REAL. She doesn't just throw out theory -- she is all about practice. Denita actively lives what she talks about, it is her passion. Tues- Thurs. she shares her mornings with ten 3-5 year olds in her play school program. More often than not, what happened during the past week turns up in Denita's presentations. Sharing fresh, successful learning moments she has experienced with young children is her pleasure. Her journey from saying: "We play for a bit before we get to the "important stuff". " to now, "Play IS the "important stuff". ", will motivate all early childhood professionals to see play and the role of a teacher in a different way.

Denita has a special gift of inspiring others to give ownership of discovery to children, to see the value in play and spread the word that play counts! She believes strongly in not only freely giving fresh ideas during her presentations, but also empowering participants with the tools for creating their own amazing environments. You will leave her trainings with a fresh perspective on the necessity of play, oodles of out-of-the-box ideas and the confidence to utilize your own cleverness.

Take a look at the Keynote and workshops listed and described below. Need something that's not there? Just ask! Denita is constantly developing new workshops, and what you are seeking may be in the works!

Denita has been a keynote presenter since 2009 and has co-authored three books with Jeff A. Johnson through Redleaf Press: "Let Them Play: An Early Learning UnCurriculum" , "Let's Play" and "Let's All Play" (due in December, 2014).

Denita will GLADLY help you design the best training for your particular needs ... just ask!!




KEYNOTES PRESENTATIONS

**NOTE: some workshops can be adjusted and work well as Keynotes too -- just ask!

"Play Counts!"

Play counts... if we let it. Denita's passion for following a child's lead is contagious. Through her 16 years of working with young children she has learned that teaching isn't so much about showing and doing as it is about stepping back, observing and supporting. You will leave her session with a new appreciation for play and a fresh perspective on the value of trusting children to lead their learning. This keynote is filled to the brim with simple ideas for setting the environment for successful play-based, child-led learning. Denita shares the steps she went through in order to put age-appropriate learning IN, and take her adult-ideas and plans OUT. Participants will leave this session refreshed, energized and feeling empowered with valuable tools that will help them let PLAY COUNT, and educate the parents as well!

"Playing Our Way to Reading Someday!! (2nd Edition)"

Some parents are anxious to brag that their child recognizes letters, knows the meaning of words and can write their name. This workshop reminds us of the important "stuff" that creates a sturdy base for those "braggable" accomplishments. Solving problems, imagining, cooperating, compromising, spatial awareness, pushing, dragging, digging and squeezing are just a small example of the skills that form the base of literacy. You will leave this workshop literally filled to the brim with creative NEW ideas that will foster a base for the "BIGGER" literacy skills to build on effortlessly, all through play!

"Empowering Children with the Gift of Control"

Afraid of what that "out of control" child in your program will do if you "just" let them play? Feeling like sticking to a rigid schedule is the only way for you to be able to control unacceptable behaviors? Do you think "play-based" and "child-led" means no structure? Then this is the workshop for you! We all have a desire to be in control. Children are the same, they seek control, they NEED control. Taking a toy away from another child fills that urge for control. Being trusted to solve problems, choose a task and find a new way to use materials also fills the need for control and has the bonus effect of being empowering. You will walk away from this workshop with practical ideas that will empower children with the type of control that provides opportunities to build life-long skills.




WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

**NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are 90-120 minutes in length, depending on your needs.

"Messy Play for the Messy Intolerant"
New

Do the words "sensory play" make your skin crawl? Does the thought of 4 young children covered in drippy goop make you wish you were at the Dentist instead of at work? Then this workshop is for you! Denita used to feel the exact same way about offering sensory play opportunities to the young children in her program. Embracing the right kind of structure, ownership and the ability to BREATHE changed all of that, and the children in Denita's program have benefited ever since! Tips for successfully orchestrating messy play (no matter your tolerance) as well as many different ideas and recipes for sensory exploration will be shared. Participants will walk away with a whole new perspective on sensory play.

"Let Them Play"
ALL TIME FAVORITE!!

This workshop requires 2 - 3 hours, space for stations plus a $75 supply free.

Come and explore up to 30 hands-on activities that are loaded with open-ended learning opportunities. Based on the book Denita co-authored with Jeff Johnson, "Let Them Play: An Early Childhood "Un"curriculum", this hands-on workshop will inspire you to bring more play to your program. Not only will you take loads of simple, inexpensive ideas back to your program, you will also leave empowered to educate parents of the true value of child-led play. Time will be spent dissecting play and articulating the learning that occurs during child-led play as well as digging in and letting your inner child emerge through play!

I Would Never Do That

Think about it. No early childhood professional wakes up in the morning thinking: "today would be a good day to hurt a child". However, GOOD people can have a BAD moment. GOOD people can forget this job does not come with a super hero cape. GOOD people can forget to take care of themselves. GOOD people can find themselves suddenly pushed too far. Child care providers are humans, they have struggles and challenges. It is how you handle those struggles and challenges that determines whether you will become one of those good people who has a bad moment. This workshop is especially valuable for those that don't think they need to attend. It is a must for all child care providers.

Plopping 101
New

As adults who have "been there, done that", we have an urge to teach young children by showing, correcting, demonstrating or even doing it for them (gasp!)! However, the key to teaching is being able to step back and allow children the freedom of trying, failing, solving and discovering in order to fully explore the endless possibilities our curious world has to offer. Learning lives in the process of figuring things out. It can be very hard to set our adult ideas aside in favor of following the free spirit of a child. A "plop" is one way to do this. Denita will share her all-time favorite plops, plus, through several small- group brainstorming sessions you will leave with a magnitude of ideas to take back to your own program and the "know-how" to come up with more on your own! It's the workshop that keeps on giving!!

The Power of One Word
New

The learning is in the child, not the curriculum. Following a young child's lead, and carefully observing conversations and actions is the best way to naturally add word knowledge to child-led play. In the book, Endangered Minds, author Jane Healy states that "children need experiences to attach words to." The "Mystery Word" concept does just that. One word can be very powerful in creating curiosity and inspiring exploration as well as deepening the learning found in child-led play. This workshop will take a closer look at the concept of the "Mystery Word". Participants will leave with observation tools that will help them attach the building of meaningful words to child-led experiences.

Defending Play Boot Camp
New

Works the best as an all-day training ... up to 6 hours

No guts, no glory! This workshop isn't for the faint of heart! Designed specifically for the early childhood professional who is ready to embrace and defend the value of play. You will be put through rigid drills, brainstorming sessions, a "dissecting play" obstacle course. You will leave with a toolbox full of research-based artillery that will help you educate parents and others of the power of play. It is recommended that you stretch before attending as a flexible brain is required!

Empowering Children with the Gift of Control

Is a great Keynote too

Afraid of what that "out of control" child in your program will do if you "just" let them play? Feeling like sticking to a rigid schedule is the only way for you to be able to control unacceptable behaviors? Do you think "play-based" and "child-led" means no structure? Then this is the workshop for you! We all have a desire to be in control. Children are the same, they seek control, they NEED control. Taking a toy away from another child fills that urge for control. Being trusted to solve problems, choose a task and find a new way to use materials also fills the need for control and has the bonus effect of being empowering. You will walk away from this workshop with practical ideas that will empower children with the type of control that provides opportunities to build life-long skills.

Playing Our Way to Reading Someday!!

Works best in a 90 min. time slot and pairs nicely with "The Power of One Word"

Some parents are anxious to brag that their child recognizes letters, knows the meaning of words and can write their name. This workshop reminds us of the important "stuff" that creates a sturdy base for those "braggable" accomplishments. Solving problems, imagining, cooperating, compromising, spatial awareness, pushing, dragging, digging and squeezing are just a small example of the skills that form the base of literacy. You will leave this workshop literally filled to the brim with creative NEW ideas that will foster a base for the "BIGGER" literacy skills to build on effortlessly, all through play!

"Thinking Outside the Box....Math through Play!"

Math is found in child-led play╔you just need to know what you are looking for. Participants in this hands-on workshop will gain loads of new outside-the-box ideas for bringing open-ended play opportunities, filled with math potential, into their programs. We will also practice articulating the learning that occurs during play.