Barbara teaches a wide variety of workshops based on her popular publications. Contact her for more information on hosting a workshop. CV Available.


The Power of PlayA toe-stepping game
Sensory integration at its most fun, integrating proprioception, tactile and visual senses,  and auditory squeals!

THE POWER OF PLAY: How "Sensory Moments" can Stimulate Motor, Social, Language and Cognitive Skills

Brains scans have shown that when children are playfully engaged, immediate new connections happen in the brain. Every experience we have alerts the sensory systems. New information relays to the brain, and the brain expands.

In this course, participants will learn a diversity of games by actually playing them. Each game joyfully alerts one or more of the senses. Each game can be modified for different abilities. The games use easily found materials, and participants go home with their own creative game or toy made from recycled materials.


Power of Play Workshop
  1. To learn the effect the sensory system has on basic brain development.
  2. To learn the enriching effect of "sensory moments" in a child's daily life.
  3. To recognize characteristics of tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, and auditory dysfunction.
  4. To participate in playing games designed to engage various sensory systems and engage the whole child. Aspects of each game enhance motor, social, language and cognitive skills.
  5. To review aspects of sensory integration, floor time, pivotal response training and other evidence-based practices to understand how they are embedded into the games
  6. To learn how different disciplines can incorporate “sensory moment” games into their practice for a collaborative team approach.
  7. To learn inclusive games specifically designed for children with different skill levels and special needs.
  8. To have participants leave the workshop feeling empowered to create own ideas by

"The Power of Play is a full body immersion of fun and discovery. You won't just learn about child developmental stages, you’ll become a child and learn, by doing, what it is to grow and play. Picture a room full of adults sitting on the floor making games out of household items. Picture dozens of paper balls flying through the air. Now, picture yourself having the time of your life and learning what it is to be a child again. How does it feel? Joyous and delightful!"

-- Mary Halvorson, Family Education Coordinator, Swindells Resource Center, Providence Child Center, Portland OR


A clock game from newspapers and string
A clock game from newspapers and string

Games and learning toys that use recyclable and throwaways material enhance play, sensory integration, motor skills and academic awareness. Participants learn how to use their own throwaways or found-in-nature materials to make toys and games that nurture children's developmental needs starting with infancy. Participants also play games that reinforce seventeen motor skills needed for good coordination, and learn original interactive songs to enhance circle time.


  1. To learn about the foundation skills necessary gross and fine motor development.
  2. To play a variety of games that encourage these skills.
  3. To learn to make games and activities tailored to an individual child, or to groups of children.

"We were delighted to attend Barbara’s workshop on play with recyclables. The session proved informative, totally participative and great fun—all the ingredients for a good learning experience."

--Margaret Webb, Executive Director, Play Right, Chai Wan

Two ropes make jumping twice as much fun Even 2X4s can be turned into a game


Child crosses the “bridge”
Child crosses a 2x4-board balance beam bridge to go to the "store." What they get at the store (something white, something oval, something that makes a sound) is adapted to each child’s ability.

This workshop emphasizes inclusive games that promote cognitive/academic skills for diverse ability levels or ages. Workshop participants learn how to modify games so that all children can play together and promote feelings of belonging for differently able children.


  1. To learn the difficulties and preferences children have at the sensory level.
  2. To learn games that enrich motor, sensory, cognitive, social and language skills.
  3. To understand how to modify activities to accommodate the needs of different children.
  4. To learn the ways to use movement to teach academic skills.

"Barbara’s group leadership skills were exceptional and her books provide a lasting resource. The world needs Barbara's skills; her teaching ability and sensitive personality enable her to deliver quality education to a diverse population regardless of geographical location."

--Jan Pessione, New Zealand registered Occupational Therapist, Central Otago Health Board, New Zealand

Jumping to Shapes
Each child gets a turn to jump on the newspapers shapes.


. . . everyone who was ever a kid or spends time with them now!

HomeProductsWorkshopsTestimonialsContact Us