June 11- International Day of Play

3 Min ⏰


The first-ever International Day of Play, to be observed on June 11, 2024, marks a significant milestone in efforts to preserve, promote, and prioritize play so that all people, especially children, can reap the benefits, develop their talents, and achieve optimal physical and mental growth.

Let’s start this post on celebrating the International Day of Play by remembering these facts:

  • 71% of children say play is important because it makes them happy, and 58% say that it helps them make friends and have a good time with others.
  • It is estimated that 160 million children around the world are working instead of playing or learning.
  • Only 1 in 4 children play outside regularly on their street, compared to their grandparents’ generation where almost three-quarters said they played outside a few times a week.
  • 41% of children have been told to stop playing outside by either their parents or other adults such as neighbors.

Why Is Play Important?

Children learn best through play. Play creates powerful learning opportunities across all areas of development – intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. Through play, children learn to forge connections with others, build a wide range of leadership skills, develop resilience, navigate relationships and social challenges, and conquer their fears. When children play, they feel safe. Children play to make sense of the world around them. More generally, play provides a platform for children to express and develop imagination and creativity, which are critical skills for the technology-driven and innovative world we live in.

Playful interactions contribute to the well-being and positive mental health of parents, caregivers, and children. When humanitarian crises turn a child’s world upside down, it is in play that children can both find safety and respite from adverse experiences while also being able to explore and process their experiences with the world. When children are driven from their homes by war, conflict, and displacement, access to nurturing relationships with parents/caregivers and peers provides a critical buffer against the effects of violence, distress, and other adverse experiences. Play comforts and soothes children.

To encourage playful interactions between parents/caregivers and children, governments and other stakeholders need to create an enabling environment.

Play Makes A Better World

The first-ever International Day of Play, to be observed on June 11, 2024, marks a significant milestone in efforts to preserve, promote, and prioritize playing so that all people, especially children, can reap the rewards and thrive to their full potential.

Beyond mere recreation, play is a universal language spoken by people of all ages, transcending national, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries. This shared passion fosters a sense of community and national pride. It also fosters resilience, creativity, and innovation in individuals. For children in particular, play helps build relationships and improves control, overcoming trauma, and problem-solving. It helps children develop the cognitive, physical, creative, social, and emotional skills they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Restricting opportunities for play directly impedes a child’s well-being and development. In educational settings, play-based learning has been recognized as an effective approach to engage students actively in the learning process. It helps make learning more enjoyable and relevant, thereby enhancing motivation and retention of information.

Moreover, play is considered to have a positive impact on promoting tolerance, and resilience, and facilitating social inclusion, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding. In recognition of this, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has enshrined play as a fundamental right of every child under Article 31.

The International Day of Play creates a unifying moment at global, national, and local levels to elevate the importance of play. It signals a call for policies, training, and funding to get play integrated into education and community settings worldwide.


Play is not just fun – it’s fundamental to a child’s development. A document titled “The Science of Play,” provided by UNICEF, is available at:  https://iris.who.int/handle/10665/311664

Some other related publications are as follows:

  • People at Play


  • Learning is Child’s Play


  • Learning Through Play


  • Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep for Children Under 5 Years of Age


Source: United Nations – International Day of Play