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Taking play seriously - Investing in Europe’s Future

Play Shapes

This Universal Children’s Day Toy Industries of Europe asked for people’s support to remind them just how important it is to make sure that children have the time, space and permission to play – at both the individual and policy level.

All children play, right?

A child’s right to play is recognised in the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child. Not only is play a right, but has been scientifically acknowledged for its positive effect on children’s development, health and well-being.

Play is the lens through which children experience their world, and the world of others. With adequate play, children stand the best chance of becoming healthy, happy, productive members of society.

Although the majority of people recognise the positive benefits of play, there are a number of barriers that prevent children from enjoying this right to the full.

We also shared our message across social media using the #PlayShapes hashtag.

Why is Play So Important?

Play’s function in children’s development has been researched for over 100 years by thinkers and scientists from across a range of disciplines.

The research tells us that:
-  Play is fundamental in supporting a whole range of intellectual, emotional and social abilities
-  Play is strongly related to cognitive development and emotional well-being
-  Children who, for whatever reason, play very little or not at all will be disadvantaged in their development

An Investment in the Future

The increasing economic, social and environmental challenges faced by modern society mean that ensuring this right it is more important than ever. Play is critical to the development of the abilities children will need as future citizens able to address these challenges. Additionally, for children in situations of crisis, regular, protected time and space for play support children’s mental health and this is crucial when the world around them is in turmoil. It is for this reason we want to raise awareness of a child’s right to play and the many benefits of play amongst policy makers, and remind them to take it into account when developing policies that affect children.

For more information about our campaign please contact us at info@importanceofplay.eu or have a look at our Q&As

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and do not forget to have a look at our ’Call to Action on Play’:

PDF - 275.3 kb