On Thursday, 28 May 2015, children across the globe will celebrate World Play Day.
Close to 2 000 children in South Africa will participate in activities to enhance their full potential through play.
“World play day is an opportunity to re-emphasise the importance of play in a child’s development. Play is a fundamental right for all children and it is imperative that we allow children to be children and to enjoy discovering the world around them,” said Jackie Schoeman, Cotlands chief executive officer.
Over 30 countries celebrate World Play Day annually. It is a day that offers children the opportunity to explore new ways of learning and gives adults a chance to connect with their inner child. This year’s theme is Play is Fun. The themes each year are determined by the International Toy Libraries Association who initiated the day in 1996.
While fun is a key ingredient on this day, it is important to remember that play is more than that. Play is a right for all children. Because children learn through play it is crucial that we, as adults, understand its importance and encourage children to discover the world around them in a fun and safe way.
“Play is a vital part of the learning process and early learning forms the foundation for later learning. A lack of early learning opportunities prevents vulnerable children from excelling academically in their later years,” adds Schoeman.
It is estimated that over 70 percent of children below the age of six in South Africa do not access any form of structured early childhood learning. Quality early childhood development centres (ECDs) in townships and rural areas are few and far between, and even if there is a facility nearby, many families cannot afford to send their children to these centres.
Cotlands is working to provide vulnerable children with free quality early learning opportunities that will help them thrive.
If you would like to support Cotlands activities on World Play Day email: firstname.lastname@example.org or make a financial contribution on their website – www.cotlands.org or SMS Play to 38585 to donate R10.