Filling the Fun Cup®

A self-paced course with Elise Waghorn from Phoenix Support for educators

Are you an early childhood educator working with children who:

  • Seem bored or under stimulated;
  • ‘Break rules’ while they laugh;
  • Seem to ‘push buttons’ and enjoy the reaction;
  • Need constant stimulation and entertainment;
  • Value humour but have yet to learn boundaries around ‘teasing’; or
  • Will not follow directions (‘do not listen’ to staff). 

Learn how to confidently respond to these behaviours by increasing every child's sense of joy within your program.

This self-paced course will enable you to have a deeper knowledge of how to support children to fill their Fun Cup®.

The Fun Cup drives our need for joy. This Cup is filled by play, humour, stimulation, novelty, and celebration.

This course will give you practical strategies and more confidence to plan for children's holistic wellbeing, increase a sense of fun and playfulness within you program, and ensure children in your care have a strong sense of joy.

Become an expert at planning for the Fun Cup®

Learn how to confidently foster a child's sense of joy by:

  • Responding to children’s need for playfulness

  • Developing holistic wellbeing plans

  • Slowing down to enjoy pleasurable moments

  • Bringing STEAM into the classroom to stimulate learning

  • Support schematic play

  • Understand and plan for differences in individual children’s needs for fun

Course curriculum

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
    • Let's Start

    • Filling the Fun Cup

    • Fun Cup - Mind Map

    • Fun Cup

    • Fun Cup - Top Traits

    • Excitement

    • Pleasure

    • Laughter

    • Celebration

    • Spontaneity

    • Schematic Play

    • Schematic Play

    • What is a Schema?

    • Piaget's Schema: How we change information to fit our brain space

    • Stimulation

    • Learning

    • Humour

    • Enjoyment

    • Mind Map

    • Fun Cup - Mind Map

    • Final Thoughts

    • Reflection

  4. 4
    • Raising Children Network

  5. 5
    • Jet Pack Man - Sandi Phoenix

    • Babies and Toddlers: Amazing Learners - Videos

    • Conceptual Playworlds

    • Toddler Play Videos

  6. 6
    • Heuristic play materials: Unstructured play materials for infants and toddlers.

    • Painting with young children in early years education and care settings.

    • The Complexity of Preschool Children's dramatic play

    • I feel like I'm getting sad there early childhood outdoor playspaces as places for children's wellbeing

    • From Boats to Bushes - Environmental elements supportive of children's sociodramatic play outdoors

    • Connections between children s involvement in dramatic play and the quality of early childhood environments

  7. 7
    • Upgrade to the Complete Series

    • Professional and Personal Development Opportunities with Phoenix Support for Educators

    • Final Reflection

Link theory, research, and evidence to your practice and planning

This course will show you how to incorporate the following theories into your planning

  • Schematic Play

    Piaget discovered that working with schemas helps us build learning around children's understanding of their world, effectively scaffolding upon previous learning to expand children's concepts and ideas. Chris Athey and Cathy Nutbrown’s subsequent research and readings around schema are articulated in this course.

  • The Phoenix Cups®

    A shared language, an approach, a revolutionary framework. The Phoenix Cups is a philosophical framework that your team can use to share ideas, language, and understandings about human behaviour. This course looks specifically at one of The Phoenix Cups - The Fun Cup.

  • Positive Psychology

    The PERMA model proposes that there are five elements essential to human well-being. The E in this model refers to Engagement. We don’t thrive when we are doing nothing. We get bored and feel useless. But when we engage with our life and work, we become absorbed. This course considers this research and the fact that children require engagement to be able to learn to be in ‘flow’ from a very young age.

  • Glasser's Choice Theory

    Dr William Glasser said that Fun is the genetic reward for learning. He coined fun as one of five basic human life needs that drive our behaviours. In this course, this is called the Will to Fill the Fun Cup.

Bonus material

  • Videos

    This course includes video content to provide further depth to your knowledge and understanding. Additionally, you will have several opportunities to join a live Q&A webinar with Elise.

  • Downloadable PDFs

    Downloadable resources that every educator needs for understanding how to support children to fill their Fun Cup.

  • Internet resources

    Web links to key learning material and helpful educator resources.

The Live Q&A will be in...

Join Elise for a live Q&A session on Wednesday 20th April at 7:00pm AEST

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Your Facilitator

Phoenix Support for Educators


Elise Waghorn

Elise Waghorn is a PhD student in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her research project is investigating the everyday lifeworlds of children in Australia and how this relates and connects to policy and educational experiences with children in Hong Kong and Singapore. Elise’s teaching has focused on the ways in which early childhood pedagogical practices influence children’s wellbeing. She has worked within the early childhood sector for 13 plus years and has a passion for making sure children's rights are listened to and respected. For the last four years Elise has worked part time as a casual academic at a university. Her role involves teaching the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary, and Masters of Education (Early Childhood and Primary). Elise started working with Phoenix Support for Educators as a part time professional development facilitator in 2016 and has an in-depth knowledge of the theoretical applications and research represented in The Phoenix Cups framework.


  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You have access to this course for 4 weeks. We estimate it will take you about 3 hours to complete, so we have allowed for 1 hour per week and an extra week for catch up.

  • How do I get my certificate?

    To receive your certificate, you must click on 'Complete & Continue' on every page of the course. Once you've done this your certificate download button should come up in the top left corner of your course, where the progress bar is.

Get started today

You can sign up today to access the resource library straight away. Access to the live webinar will be accessible through your login.