#2 Pre-conference event: The Element of Play®️: Not a Day Without Play

The Element of Play®: Not a Day Without Play 

Offered by Worldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO) 


Hosts: Worldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children  

Date: October 22, 2024  

Time:  14:00 - 17:00 

Location:Muzeiko Municipal Cultural Institute and Children’s Science Educational Center 


Are you interested in: 

  • Experiencing play from a child’s perspective? 
  • Learning about comprehensive models of trauma-informed play, storytelling/ storyboarding and using music to support the development of children in vulnerable situations?
  • Try designing an activity using the Element of Play® program? 

Join this interactive pre-conference workshop, with professionals from Worldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO) and WWO-Ukraine (both part of the WWO family) to recreate the atmosphere of the Element of Play® program and explore vivid and active opportunities for teaching and leading the processes of transforming early learning systems into thriving communities that help children grow in the most natural way. 


What you will learn 

The objectives of this interactive 3-hour experience are: 

  • to showcase the power of play as an instrument of early learning by providing an opportunity to get closer to experiencing children’s emotions during play and learning processes 
  • to support an enhanced understanding about the role of active play and active learning models in kindergarten and preschool education 

In the first part of the workshop you will learn about the theory behind the three components of The Element of Play® - Toys, Storytelling and Music. In the second half you will try your own model by making their own storyboarding narrative led by the experts of WWO-Bulgaria. 



The Element of Play® 

WWO's signature play-based learning program helps children reach developmental milestones in communication, social-emotional, fine and gross motor and cognitive skills while strengthening their bond with caregivers. The Element of Play® program is a powerful tool for promoting and supporting early childhood development in the most disadvantaged communities, providing opportunities for children to start school on an equal footing, building skills in parents and raising awareness among professionals and communities about the importance of the early years through three core components:  

  • Toys
    A toy library used as a resource for spontaneous or guided play in pairs, as a therapy tool by professionals, as a resource for play at home through toy borrowing, for play groups and workshops for children and parents, including as a mobile service in remote and isolated locations;

  • Musica
    Multi-sensory approach
    to meet children with music and introduce them in a fun way to sounds - loud, soft, high, low, melodies and rhythms.
    Encouraging the development of group relationships, tolerance, leadership, and independence; 

  • Storytelling 
    A creative reading and arts program that introduces childrento literature in a fun and creative way as well as supports language development in the pre-reading stage and social-emotional and problem-solving skills. Children listen to a story and have the opportunity to express what they have learned through creative movement and activities related to the topic presented. 





  • Rositsa PetrovaWorldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO-Bulgaria) 

  • Diana RoussevaWorldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO-Bulgaria)

  • Plamena NikolovaWorldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO-Bulgaria) 


Special guests 

  • Chrystyna Bogatyrova, Country Director (WWO-Ukraine) 

  • Melissa Muddaugh, Chief Program Officer (WWO-USA) 


Worldwide Foundation for Vulnerable Children (WWO-Bulgaria)member of the US-based Worldwide Orphans Foundation family, has been active in Bulgaria since 2009, focusing on early childhood development and learning through play. With 26 partner organizations and institutions across Bulgaria, including NGOs, schools, and social institutions, WWO-Bulgaria reaches various vulnerable children, including those in poverty, ethnic minorities like Roma, and refugees. In 2022, The WWO family expanded to welcome WWO-Ukraine as a member. WWO-Ukraine implements Element of Play® programs to support children and families affected by the ongoing conflict, reaching nearly 30 learning spaces across 9 regions of the country.  


Who is this for 

  • Representatives of civil society organizations, groups, and networks of professionals whose work may influence the life of children.  

  • Policy makers, city managers and politicians who are responsible for the development and implementation of policies impacting children’s lives.   

  • Academics and funders.  

If you are interested in exploring new ways and means for improving the quality of children’s lives in vulnerable communities as well as mandatory forms of preschool education, register to reserve your spot! 



This workshop is offered free of charge to participants in the ISSA Conference 2024. Visit theregistration pageto reserve your place at this pre-conference event.  This event has a limited number of seats. To make sure you reserve your seat, register as soon as possible. 



In addition to this pre-conference workshop, are you curious to learn first-hand and see how the Element of Play® program is implemented in a community-based service provider in Sofia? Check out and sign up for this site visit on 25 October. 


News on the Keynote Speakers will follow soon!