The first United Nations International Day of Play: Why is play important for children?

The first United Nations International Day of Play: Why is play important for children?

The United Nations is promoting its first ever International Day of Play, which aims to champion the importance of children having fun.

The diplomatic body is celebrating the day on Tuesday, June 11, and will mark it with an event at its headquarters in New York as well as a campaign on social media.

The UN has said that only one in four children now play out regularly on their street compared to their grandparents' generation, where almost three-quarters did. It is looking to change this and has stressed the importance of having fun outside for mental and physical well-being.

This is all you need to know.

What is the International Day of Play?

The UN started the event in 2024.

“The international day creates a unifying moment at global, national, and local levels to elevate the importance of play,” a statement read.

“It signals a call for policies, training, and funding to get play integrated into education and community settings worldwide.”

You can expect to see campaigns online and on social media, and there is also a summit being held at the UN’s headquarters in New York, featuring speakers and promotions.

Is there a theme for International Day of Play 2024?

There is no theme as such for the first ever year, but the UN has released a video called The Dancer, where a young girl busts some moves after doing her family’s washing.

Why is play important for children?

The UN has identified that children learn best through play.

A statement added: “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 as well as conquer their fears.”