First International Day of Play

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Yesterday marked the first ever International Day of Play – a campaign coordinated by a network of organisations, initiated by the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation and designed to firmly put play back on the agenda for children everywhere.

Play opens up a whole world of possibilities. It enables children to find time and space to explore their creativity and reach their full potential. It is an essential part of childhood and is at the very heart of mental, social and emotional growth and well-being.

Every day, Spread a Smile sees the benefits of play for the children and young people we support. When a child is seriously ill, undergoing treatment and spending long periods of time in hospital, it is important that play continues to be part of their life, at a time when they can feel most isolated and vulnerable.

We are delighted that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 11 June as an annual International Day of Play and today we celebrated in style.

Our entertainers joined forces with our friends from Hasbro to visit children and young people at some of our NHS hospital partners yesterday, encouraging group play in the communal playrooms through fun sessions and activities including board games, Play-Doh, magic, music and singing. We also visited children at their bedside and wider numbers across the country through a virtual LEGO play session online.

Laura Walter, Director of Services for Spread a Smile said, “Play and having fun are at the heart of everything we do at Spread a Smile and we know first-hand how important they are for a child’s development, particularly when they are unwell and not able to spend time with family and friends. We are delighted to be part of the first ever International Day of Play, providing ways for children in hospital to simply laugh, play and do things that all children should be able to do.”

Thank you to the LEGO Group for all their work making this day possible and to Hasbro for their continued support, giving up their time, leaving games and Play Doh for the children we met and helping us to spread smiles for the first ever International Day of Play.

To donate to ensure we can continue our vital work, please click here.