Play Advisory Council

Dr. Toni Linder, Ed. D

Dr. Linder is a leader in the field of early childhood development and early childhood special education. She works with children of diverse backgrounds and ability levels, including children who are gifted and talented, who have disabilities or come from backgrounds of poverty, and those from multicultural backgrounds.

She is particularly known for her work on authentic assessment for young children and is the author of Transdisciplinary Play-based Assessment and Transdisciplinary Play-based Intervention (1990, 1993, 2008). In addition, she developed Read, Play, and Learn (1999), an inclusive, literature and play-based curriculum for preschool and kindergarten learning and development.

Dr. Linder consults nationally and internationally on assessment, intervention, early childhood education, program and curriculum development, family involvement issues, and the importance of play to children’s development. She has a particular interest in the importance of play for children with autism. Dr. Linder has conducted research on a variety of issues, including observation of play skills, transdisciplinary influences on development, parent-child interaction, curriculum outcomes, math and literacy learning, and using technology for professional development in rural areas.

Dr. Linder is Professor Emerita, Child, Family, and School Psychology Program at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver in Denver, CO.


Matt Brown

For over 20 years Matt Brown has developed a reputation as an expert in play by inventing hundreds of educational games and toys for children and families built on the science of play. He has consulted with both Fortune 500 and early stage companies to incorporate play in order to become more innovative and competitive. He has been an SVP at Scholastic, President of Klutz, Vice-President of LeapFrog, Chief Gaming Officer of Conteneo and Chief Strategist at Speck Design.

Matt co–founded companies including big BOING, an integrated strategy, innovation and development company that partnered with Kraft, Disney, Coca Cola, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Learning Curve and others to invent, design and launch (or completely overhaul) major domestic and international brands. His portfolio of brand and product launches exceeds $250MM. Matt is or was an advisor for PBS Kids, Hasbro Play Panel, Dash Robotics, GoAnimate and Power Play.

Today, Matt is using his knowledge of play, design, education and human behavior to help build a more vibrant and resilient city of Santa Fe, NM as its Director of Economic Development.