Mad Hatter Tea Party 2018

5 KDHE clock hours | $40 



Join us in Manhattan March 3rd at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center with Keynote, Audrey Rowland and Travis Davis! 

Ms. Rowland, MS., has over 15 years of experience as an early childhood professional. Drawing from her expertise as a teacher and administrator, Audrey creates resources and provides professional development for early educators, administrators, parents, and policy-makers. Audrey is grounded in theory and practice that emphasizes developmentally appropriate practice and high-quality early education. She provides a number of content areas with a focus on classroom implementation. She is an engaging speaker and trainer, translating information into application and inspiring teachers and professionals. Audrey earned an MS from the University of North Texas in Child Development and Family Studies and an MBA from Texas Woman's University.

Mr. Davis, Ed.D., began his early childhood career almost 15 years ago as an assistant teacher in a four-year-old classroom while completing his Bachelor's degree in Child Development. Since then, he has taught 3-5-year-old children at university laboratory schools, coordinated a Head Start program, and directed professional development programs for early childhood teachers, directors, and family child care homes through a child care resource and referral agency. Travis received his Doctorate in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas. He currently is an Associate Professor of Child Development at Tarrant County College and is the Director of the Children's Center on campus. Travis is an advocate for play-based learning and has experiences with the Project Approach as well as Reggio inspired programs.


2018 Mad Hatter Agenda

  • 8:30 | Check In
  • 9:00 | Audrey Rowland and Travis Davis, Keynote: The Power of Play

We know that children learn best through play. But how do we ensure that high-quality play is happening in our programs? With parent demands for academic readiness, schedules dominated by specials, and the pressure to keep up with the program down the street, how do we make a place (and a case) for play? In this keynote session, we will review why play is critical to learning, how to implement productive play in your program, and how to talk to parents about the importance of play.

  • 10:45 | High Tea
  • 11:00 | Audrey Rowland and Travis Davis, Keynote, Continued
  • 12:15 | Lunch
  • 1:00 | Audrey Rowland and Travis Davis, I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then: Dramatic Play and Early Literacy

In the afternoon session, we will examine how dramatic play builds a foundation for literacy. Character development, the narrative arc, and an appreciation for fiction begin during pretend play. Dramatic play happens in every learning center, on the playground, and even during meal times.Appreciating the power of pretend play and its link to language, literacy, and cognitive development allows teachers to protect and prioritize this rite of childhood and help parents understand why it has such a prominent place in our programs. During the afternoon session, participants will gather in small groups to develop dramatic play prompts and outline activities to use in their lesson plans. We will also role-play conversations with parents.

  • 3:00 | Maddest Hat Award

Create your maddest hat and wear it to the conference - after all, we're all mad here! We'll end the day by announcing the Mad, Madder, and Maddest Hat Award Winners! Check out the photo gallery below for past creations.



Note: Registration ends Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Dont be late!

Need a place to stay? A block of rooms is available at the Hilton Garden Inn. Mention the Mad Hatter Conference to reserve a room (rate of $106 per night). *Reservations must be made by February 7th.*

Get Your T. T-shirts will be available for purchase at the event. 


What is the Mad Hatter Tea Party?

The Mad Hatter Tea Party is an annual professional development event for any and all individuals who work with young children. This event is hosted by KCCTO as a full day of training for early childhood professionals interested in promoting literacy through various content areas.  In previous years, attendees included family child care providers, center-based teachers/staff, administrators, school district teachers, music therapists, and children's librarians.  This event truly is for everyone!  Each year has had a different content focus to include literacy through arts in 2014, literacy through science and math in 2015, literacy through movement in 2016, and music and the connection to brain development in 2017.  The Keynote learning experiences are designed with the content, participants, and theme in mind.  

Previous Participant Comments:

"Thank you for this opportunity.  I can tell how much planning and work went into this event!  It was great.  All of the special touches (teacups, ribbons, candy, etc.) were noticed and appreciated.  The Keynote was delightful and I wish I could have gotten more colleagues to join me.  Thanks again!!!"

"I liked the variety of activities covered (movement, instruments, transitions, and books).  This was truly wonderful and I feel inspired to use these ideas in my practice."

"I would like to thank you for an amazing tea party.  I am always impressed by KCCTO's events."

"The speaker was so dynamic and made learning fun and easy!  This workshop was great!"

"It was most excellent!  Thank you so much--I thoroughly enjoyed everything!"

"The theme was fun and got everyone in the mood to participate.  Thank you for the books, great food, time to meet and learn from one another."