News in South Africa

News in South Africa

World Play Day

Children at play

Active Learning Libraries, South Africa: World Play Day – 28 May 2010


In 1999, at the 8th International Toy Library Conference in Tokyo, the then President of the International Toy Library Association (ITLA) Dr Freda Kim proposed the establishment of World Play Day.

Since then South Africa has joined 30 other countries and celebrates World Play Day on 28 May each year.

Dr Kim shared her vision for World Play Day:

“What I envisage is not an event or series of events, and not something that entails expansive and expensive preparations (or expensive presents). The essence of PLAY is childlike. It is what all children do naturally. Therefore, a WORLD PLAY DAY should be a day of total attention to each other, from generation to generation. A day when children and adults do what they want to do. A day that is relaxed and emphasises human interaction. We do not need to stop the world for a day. We play in our own place, home, school or work place. Perhaps I am describing an attitude rather than an activity. A day that is FUN, shows adults and children in interactive situations promoting the healthy growth of each other in simple, self-motivated activities of their own choice. If everyone in the world can do this on the same day each year we will have a WORLD PLAY DAY.”


On World Play Day (and every day), we should make sure that we know the importance:

Of allowing play to happen and giving children the time to play;

Of understanding that children learn through play. That playing is work of a child and that play is a crucial part of the child’s natural development;

Of providing safe spaces to play that take into account children’s play needs;

Of taking time to play with a child or a group of children;

Of teaching children the traditional games we played as children, making sure that these games are passed on to the next generation;

Of inviting someone from an older generation to come and play with children;

Of encouraging the whole family to spend some time playing together.


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News in South Africa

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