Free play this World Play Day

Here’s how to play on World Play Day

24 May 2018, Johannesburg – Cotlands, in partnership with the International Toy Library Association (ITLA) and the Toy Library Association of South Africa (TLASA) invite parents, caregivers and those who work with children to celebrate World Play Day on Monday 28 May, 2018 by hosting an event or carving a space for play. The theme is “Free Play”, which encompasses play as a birth right and of critical importance to children’s neuro and emotional development.

The theme “Free Play” speaks to social justice imperatives: play that is free from barriers, gender bias, crisis, material, age limits, and free from time and space. Play is a fundamental right, with Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child recognising the critical importance of children engaging in age appropriate recreational activities. And yet, play is the most neglected of all rights of a child, worsened by overcrowding and the computerisation of play.
“Children are starved of play all over the world: child labour and increasing educational demands take away from this critical activity,” says Monica Stach, vice chairperson of the International Toy Library Association (ITLA) and CEO of Cotlands. ITLA’s ultimate goal is to have World Play Day recognised on the UN Calendar, following on from WPD’s inclusion in UNICEF South Africa’s Calendar of Events. Currently, there are 40 countries who participate in WPD.
Cotlands and the Toy Library Association of South Africa (TLASA) highlights that play activities must be amenable to differently-abled children, encourage gender neutral roleplaying, be allowed even in a cramped space (therefore free from time and space constraints) and should be open to children and adults. Furthermore, children are naturally curious and inquisitive and just about any material can be used for play. Ideas for play, speaking to the “Free Play” theme can be accessed here.
For guidelines about hosting a WPD event this year, click here.
For more information, contact Venessa T’Hart at venessa@cotlands.org