The Autonomous Play Activity   

5-DAY PLAY MODULE – July 16-20, Los Angeles, CA

This intensive provides credit toward certification as a Pikler® Pedagogue. Autonomous play activity delves into the topic of the development of free play, including its many, often overlooked, stages. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in a variety of experiential activities, discussion and lecture, as well as analyze video footage from the Pikler® Institute.

Registration information:
To register and pay with Pay Pal or credit card.

Early bird before June 15, 2018 – $1,200
After June 15, 2018 – $1,350

Pepperdine University Graduate Campus
6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045
West LA Campus

Driving directions, parking instructions & map

Hotels, entertainment and transportation



Eszter Mózes

Eszter Mózes, Director of the Lóczy Foundation for Children, Author, Researcher, and Clinical child psychologist has been working together with the Pikler/Lóczy team since 1988, either in employment with the team or as an associate in the area of children’s welfare. At Lóczy, she worked with children living in the infant’s home. Working with them through psychotherapy was one of her biggest learning experiences. She also participated in the Lóczy Caregivers’ Training and in research. Her two areas of special interest and research are early manifestations of sense of humor in the youngest age, and the detailed way in which the adult’s role changes in parallel with the development of the child. She has been working with the Early Intervention Centre in Budapest since 1999. In this area of supporting young children with special development or with disability needs – and their families – she finds the Piklerian approach and practice to be of the greatest value. In continuous cooperation with the team of the Pikler® Day Care Center, she endeavors to maintain and further develop the Piklerian pedagogy in her practice. She currently facilitates trainings for the Lóczy Foundation for Children in French, Spanish and Hungarian.

Judit Kelemen

Judit Kelemen, Lead Group Caregiver at Lóczy, trained as a healthcare professional and has been working at the Pikler Institute and Pikler Daycare Center for over 30 years. She is a prolific speaker and sought after presenter at national and international conferences. Topics of her lectures have included “Changing the Diaper of a Mobile Infant,” “Relationships and Conflicts Among Children,” “What does the Child Learn by Being Independent?,” “The Development of Play,” “The Role of the Adult in the Child’s Play,” “What Does the Child Learn During Care?,” “The Caregiver’s Professional Development at the Pikler Institute,” “Training for Infants’ Home Employees,” “The Social-Emotional Learning of Toddlers” and “Feeding and Bathing Infants at Home.” Judit, or as she is lovingly called, Jutka, continues her research at the Pikler® House and with the infants and young children at the Emmi Pikler Day care Center. In her own words: “ When the moment came for me to start learning how to provide care to babies after my period of working as an auxiliary caregiver at the Pikler Institute, the experienced trainer-caregiver asked me whether I had given it thorough consideration and if I was sure I wanted to pursue this beautiful but difficult path. She would only train me if I promised to stay in the infants’ home for at least two years. My answer, of course, was yes, so much so that I have now multiplied those two years by 17”.

Elsa Chahin

Elsa Chahin, President and CEO of Pikler USA, is an in-demand speaker, writer, teacher, lactation educator, and infant-toddler consultant, and is one of only two Pikler® certified and accredited trainers of the Pikler® Pedagogy in North America. In addition, Chahin has served as a keynote speaker and presenter at over 85 national and international conferences and seminars on the topic of caring for babies with respect. She recently co-authored the book, In Loving Hands: How the Rights for Young Children Living in Children’s Homes Offer Hope and Happiness In Today’s World, with Anna Tardos, Dr. Pikler’s daughter. Chahin studied under Tardos at the Pikler® Institute in Budapest, Hungary, and was a presenter at the 2004 and 2007 Pikler® International Symposiums, also assisting Tardos as co-trainer in Budapest in 2007, 2008, 2015, 2017, and in the States in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Chahin, who has been mentored by Ute Strub since 2004, is a working group leader for World Forum Foundation™, a RIE® Associate, PITC Trainer and a UCLA Certified Lactation Educator. As a Certified Interpreter-Translator and Certified Teacher of English as a Second Language, Chahin passed her ESL Exams at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Chahin, a rare leader who not only brings passion and commitment to her work, but also a deep knowledge coupled with both insight and generosity, has practiced yoga, meditation and mindfulness for over 20 years. Formerly a professional ballerina, Chahin continues to teach dance to adults and children. Above all, she is a joyous mom.

Class Overview:

During this course, we will discuss Dr. Emmi Pikler’s original ideas regarding infants’ competencies in their autonomous activity.

How do infants’ and toddlers’ self-initiated play activity contribute to their well-being and development? Through research data, photos and video footages of the Pikler® Institute, we will delve into the topic of the development of free play, including its many, often overlooked, stages.

Participants will also learn the role of the adult in supporting the infant’s and the toddler’s self-initiated play activity and the environment, as well as materials needed in each phase of development.

Course Outline:

  • The beginning of infant’s play activity
  • Development of thinking and playing
  • The infant’s attention during play
  • Autonomous activity in the parent-child group
  • Organizing the conditions of free play and movement in the day-care center
  • How the caregiver supports children’s play

This course is designed for those who would like to acquire knowledge, and be informed about the Pikler® approach. Participants will deepen their understanding about early childhood education through studying our most important pedagogical principles, learning about everyday experiences with children, and also through hearing about the results of research carried out by the Pikler® Institute.

The topics will be elaborated by presenting core materials of the Institute. The results of research and practical experience, the opportunity to watch and analyze photos and video footage, accounts of personal practice and discussion of the questions raised by participants will all be included. The courses will be held by some of the Pikler® team, including former colleagues of Dr. Emmi Pikler and other experienced professionals of the Institute.

Faculty to be announced soon! Our team in Hungary is working diligently to select the trainers from the Pikler House for this intensive.

What to wear: Attire at the event is casual and comfortable. Meeting room temperatures tend to be cooler due to air conditioning.

Computers: There will be electrical outlets available in the session room for laptop users.

Payment: Please note that if you paid your registration fee by credit card, your payment will be processed as soon as possible.

Cancellation policy: Once enrolled, your registration fee of $1,200 will be forfeited if a cancellation occurs less than thirty days prior to the start of the event. If a cancellation occurs between April 16- June 15, you will receive 50% refund. If your cancellation occurs before April 15, you will be entitled to a 75% refund.  All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Elsa Chahin at