Filling the Fun Cup®

An online 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 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. Before We Begin...

    2. Introducing The Phoenix Cups® Framework

    3. The Phoenix Cups - An overview with Sandi Phoenix

    4. The Phoenix Cups framework - An Overview

    1. Fun Cup Handout

    2. Filling the Fun Cup with Elise Waghorn

    3. Fun Cup Mindmap

    4. Resource Library

    5. What did you learn about the Fun Cup?

    1. Final Reflection

    2. Get in touch with the team at Phoenix Support

    3. Other Professional and Personal Development Opportunities

About this course

  • $60.00
  • 17 lessons
  • 0.5 hours of video content

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.

Your Facilitator

Phoenix Support for Educators

Facilitator, Education and Care Mentor Elise Waghorn

Elise is a huge advocate for giving children a voice in things that directly affect them. She has a passion for play-based learning and uses a strength-based approach with coaching and mentoring. Elise believes she gets the best out of educators by recognising their individual strengths and making sure they can be incorporated within their practice. Elise is the person you want in your corner! She recognises and empathises the challenging (and wonderful) job that educators have, having worked in services previously. Elise joined Phoenix Support for educators in 2016 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in education and care. In fact, Elise has taught over 21 units in The Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary and Masters of Early Childhood and Masters of Education. In addition to her coaching and mentoring with Phoenix support for educators Elise is a collective mentor to students in the graduate program at the University of Melbourne. She is also a PhD candidate, and her studies explore scholarly Habitus in children's lifeworld's by exploring high stakes testing and educational capital. All her workshops are theory-based, as Elise heavily researches the literature to provide as much current and peer-reviewed information as possible. Elise currently delivers a number of courses and workshops including the Holistic Infant and Toddler Development series, the Fostering Children’s Wellbeing series, the Protecting Children’s Rights educator training bundle, the Educators' Toolkit for Behaviour workshop, and the Documenting to Discover workshop. She loves developing content-specific information for individual services to meet their needs.

Want more?

Register for the whole Fostering Children's Wellbeing series today.


  • 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.