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LEGO ANZ making play accessible for all – new initiatives announced

Play is a fundamental right for every child. Yet, the importance of play in helping children develop life-long skills is often forgotten. With only 30% of adults aware that play is a fundamental birthright adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1989– there is an urgent need to put play back on the agenda.

To drive this ambition forward, a dedicated network of global organisations, play experts and, most importantly, children and youth themselves, have called on UN member states to support the resolution for an International Day of Play. The LEGO Group, the LEGO Foundation and other founding members of the movement are proud to announce that the UN General Assembly has adopted this international awareness day.

Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group said about the adoption: “We believe that all children should benefit from the power of play. For more than 90 years we have championed children’s right to play, as we know that it can change lives. It strengthens family bonds and helps children develop essential skills and reach their full potential. We have hosted our own World Play Day the past two years to celebrate the importance of play. Now, we are excited to turn it into a global movement to engage and impact even more children together with our partners. The adoption of an International Day of Play by the UN is a true testament to the power of play and the need to collectively champion and protect all children’s right to play.”

Sidsel Marie Kristensen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation added: “At the LEGO Foundation, our aspiration is for children to become creative, lifelong learners who thrive in a constantly changing world. We know that play fuels curiosity, sparks creativity, unlocks essential skills, boosts wellbeing and inspires a lifelong journey of learning. Play is the superpower of children, but not all children experience the benefits of learning through play. The challenge for all of us is to make play a part of every child’s reality. An International Day of Play is an important recognition of a child’s right to play. Let’s work together to ensure every child has the space and time to play and be the superheroes they are.”

Play is never just play

Play is universal and taps into children’s natural enthusiasm and curiosity to learn. It teaches them to explore and wonder, connect ideas and experiences and gain a deeper

understanding of the world. When children play, they develop essential life skills, which are fundamental to their own and society’s progress.

Anime, Child and Youth Advisory Group member France, said: “Play is not just for fun. It’s an essential part of our human nature. It’s through play that we learn, grow, and develop skills that will shape our future.”

This is why the International Day of Play network of organisations are committed to driving a global play movement for children everywhere for generations to come. The work was initiated by the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation in partnership with ADEA, ARUP, BRAC, Change X, Concerned for Working Children, Eurochild, Hasbro, INGKA, International Play Association, IRC, KidZania, Mattel, NIKE inc., PEDAL, Plan International, Right To Play International, Save the Children and Sesame Workshop.

The movement draws on further global insights— revealing that, on average, three in five (59%) children would like to play more than they do now, whilst four in five (79%) of children would like to play more with their parents or carer. Research also shows that eight in ten (78%) of children say grown-ups don’t always think playing is important and seven in ten (73%) don’t believe grown-ups take play – and how it can help them learn – seriously—-.

The world needs more play

UNICEF estimates that 160 million children around the world are working instead of playing or learning—–. Yet, even in their darkest moments, children can find their way back to hope, health and happiness through play.

The adoption of a UN resolution for a day centred around play, takes children’s rights one step further. It creates a unifying moment at global, national, and local levels to elevate the importance of play as central to children’s learning and wellbeing – ensuring time to play, space to play and support for quality play is prioritised.

The coalition of partners of International Day of Play is celebrating that this important movement has now been ratified, recognising the true power of play at the highest political level. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the power of play on June 11th this year, and every year thereafter.

 

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