The True Play Statement was first made on May 15, 2019 in Anji County, China at the 1st International True Play Conference. After Ms. Cheng Xueqin read the statement in Chinese, and Mr. Jesse Coffino read the statement in English, educators from ten countries, including China, signed the statement as founding members of the True Play Advocacy Alliance.

True Play, as defined below, is valued as the primary experience of learning in Anji Play environments. Routines, schedules, reflection, and other activities in Anji Play programs are organized to provide the greatest potential for trust, freedom and depth in these True Play experiences.

True Play Statement

True play is deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice.

True Play is most frequently characterized by observable experiences of risk, joy and deep engagement. This is the deepest manifestation of learning, growth and development.

True Play flourishes in places of love where the materials, environments and decision-making attend to the needs and differences of the individual and the group.

When given space to reflect, those who experience True Play and those who take part in deep and engaged observation of True Play will create ecologies that prioritize the understanding of learning and development in their respective communities.

Educators and policy-makers committed to True Play protect the child’s right to experiences of True Play, and make True Play a priority in their decision-making about education. 



True Play Advocacy Alliance*

Professor Feng Xiaoxia (China)
Professor Li Jimei (China)
Professor Hua Aihua (China)
Ms. Cheng Xueqin (China)
Ms. Sheng Yi (China)
Ms. Zhang Jie (China)
Dr. Doris Pui Wah Cheng (China)

Mr. Jesse Coffino (U.S.)
Ms. Jordy Coldwell Angel (Mexico)
Mr. Salvatory Kisude (Tanzania)
Dr. Peter Mangione (U.S.)
Mr. Gregory Mickells (U.S.)
Ms. Safina Mutumba (Uganda)
Mr. Jean Christophe Ndikumana (Burundi)
Dr. Andreas Roepstorff (Denmark)
Ms. Eszter Salamon (Hungary)
Dr. Rona Jualla van Oudenhoven (Canada)
Dr. Nikolay Veraksa (Russia)

*Founding membership