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International Day of Play

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The United Nations International Day of Play recognises children’s right to play and its importance for their wellbeing.

 

The day is an opportunity to raise global awareness about the importance of play and to campaign for play to be considered in every aspect of children’s lives.

The International Day of Play takes place on 11 June each year.

 

International Day of Play 2024

To mark the first ever International Day of Play on 11 June 2024, IPA Cymru Wales and Play Wales called for schools across the country to protect playtime. Together, we asked schools to give all children additional time to play, for example, by making the lunch break longer or providing an extra playtime.

Children have a right to time and space to play as part of the school day. Children say that playtimes are an important part of the school day, but schools in Wales aren’t always prioritising playtime.

Play Wales asked questions about playtime as part of the Wales Children’s Omnibus Survey (2022). This is what was discovered:

  • 98% of the children said they look forward to playtime at school.
  • 82% said they especially like playtime as it allows them to spend time with their friends.
  • 61% of children say they have missed playtime. The most frequent reasons for this are to catch up with work or because a teacher feels they had misbehaved.

 

Get involved

To support schools to give children more time to play on International Day of Play, we developed a list of top tips. The list is full of practical and easy ideas for marking the day.

To help organisations and settings across Wales to mark International Day of Play 2024, we produced a supporters pack. The pack included a campaign overview, social media text and images, as well as text for websites and newsletters.

 

Background

On 25 March 2024, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution for an annual International Day of Play.

Members of the International Play Association (IPA), including IPA Cymru Wales, voted unanimously to advocate to the UN for an International Day of Play at the IPA World Conference in June 2023.

The IPA joined with a range of global partners including children’s rights organisations and play experts to call on UN member states to support the resolution. The Child Friendly Governance Project also worked directly to engage and support the voices of children worldwide in the call.

Playful Childhoods

Play Wales’ Playful Childhoods campaign aims to help parents, carers and community groups provide more opportunities for children to play at home and in their neighbourhoods.

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