Celebrating the First International Day of Play

Celebrating the First International Day of Play

Tomorrow is a landmark day for play. It is the first-ever International Day of Play adopted by the United Nations. This occasion is a significant milestone in the recognition of this fundamental right for every child. Play is a cornerstone of childhood that helps kids build strength, confidence and important life skills. 

Sanjay Luthra, TIE’s Chair of the Board

Play empowers children to learn, grow, and understand the world around them. It fosters the development of essential cognitive skills, social abilities, and emotional strength. It is through play that they learn to collaborate, to create, and to persevere. Play also significantly contributes to psychosocial well-being. 

Yet, despite these numerous benefits, play often ends up being the last priority in children’s busy schedules. Sometimes, it is entirely overlooked.  Making time to play, providing opportunities to play… Because it sounds so simple, people often forget about its profound effects. Dedicating resources to play is a straightforward and really impactful investment in the happiness and resilience of future generations. This is why investing in children’s well-being and protecting their right to play must become a priority in policies and initiatives around the world, including in Europe.  

In a few EU countries, schools and educational settings already embrace play as a vital component of the learning process, allowing children the freedom to explore and grow in a less formal way. It would be great to see this approach adopted everywhere.  

Outside of school, there is a need for play spaces that are not only safe, but also diverse and inclusive. Every child should be able to play without fear or limitations. Investments in these spaces benefit not only the children but also enrich our communities and society. 

To get all of this right, we should listen to what the children have to say when making decisions about their playtime. 

I am very glad that the UN has initiated this celebration. It’s truly gratifying to witness the recognition of something as fundamental as play. A more playful world will be a happier world. I really hope to see the International Day of Play celebrated in every single country. Let’s work together towards that and ensure that every child enjoys their right to play, irrespective of their background or circumstances. By doing so, we nurture a generation of resilient, confident, and well-rounded individuals. 

Happy International Day of Play!

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