In 2018 IKEA, The LEGO Foundation and National Geographic joined forces as the Real Play Coalition with a shared belief in the value of play. This November, the Real Play Coalition is announcing its commitment to help combat the erosion of play by introducing the Global Month of Play. As both individual and collective champions of play, the four iconic organisations behind the Real Play Coalition have come together to develop and support play-based activities that give children opportunities to grow and learn through play. Touching homes, schools and communities, the Global Month of Play will provide a programme of activities throughout November that will engage and excite children in each aspect of their lives.
With a proven track record of success, together, the Real Play Coalition will reach over 3 million children in more than 100 countries and activities will take place in across 26,000 classrooms. Globally, 64% of parents believe their children have fewer opportunities to play than they did as a child themselves. Whether for reasons of safety (51% of parents agree they would like their children to play outside but are too worried about their safety or growing pressures on children (one in five say they are “too busy” to play, it is clear that play is under threat in the home, in schools and in the community across the world. Here’s a snapshot of the how the Global Month of Play will be brought to life, below…
IKEA: Let’s Play For Change campaign
With the Let’s Play for Change campaign, the Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA wants to encourage more play for a better everyday life. As we launch the campaign worldwide, we’re touching all four corners of the world with our knowledge on play, and the important message that it is vital for all of us, everywhere, every day.
During November and December everyone is invited to join extra playful activities in more than 400 IKEA stores around the world. In the annual drawing competition to develop next year’s soft toy collection SAGOSKATT, IKEA welcomes all IKEA FAMILY members aged 0 to 12 from all over the world to draw the soft toy of their dreams. The six most unique drawings are turned into real soft toys in next year’s collection. The full purchase price of each SAGOSKATT toy is donated to local organisations supporting every child’s right to play and develop. Since the start five years ago the drawing competition has engaged over 157,000 kids from every corner of the earth.
During the Global Month of Play, the message is also played out across social media through the exploits of one of our FABLER BJÖRN teddies, known as Björn, as he makes a bold leap and leaves the store to head out on a play journey.
Follow the IKEA activities on #letsplayforchange and #FablerBjorn
The LEGO Foundation: World Children’s Day
UNICEF’s Universal Children’s Day on November 20th marks the day when the most widely ratified human right treaty in history, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, was adopted. It is a global day of action for children, by children, where leaders are held to account on their promises to children.
Throughout November, the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group will support this celebration through Build the Change events, where children in select places in Mexico, the UK, China, South Africa and Denmark have been invited to use LEGO® bricks to build their dream school where learning through play and creativity are part of everything they do. As an outcome, the LEGO Foundation will collate and document a selection of insights, ideas and learnings from the activation and hand them to world leaders at the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 2019.
Follow activities during the Global Month of Play through #worldchildrensday
Dirt is Good (Persil, OMO and Surf Excel): Outdoor Classroom Day
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play, led by NGO Project Dirt globally, working with local NGOs, and supported by Unilever’s Persil, OMO and Surf Excel. On November 1st, thousands of schools around the world will take lessons outside and prioritise playtime, sending a message of how learning outside of the classroom engages and excites children in spectacular ways. In 2018 alone, over 3 million children across 26,000 classrooms will have joined this movement. Parents and teachers from around the world can sign up at www.outdoorclassroomday.com.
National Geographic: Play Made Me This Way
To celebrate the invaluable marks play leaves on our lives, National Geographic will be producing a fascinating series of videos for the Real Play Coalition called Play Made Me This Way, featuring the stories of a number of extraordinary individuals. Through testimonies and revisiting memories, the videos will reveal how play during the formative years have had a life-changing impact on who they grew up to be, which has made them ensure their children have the same quality play that they did. The first video of the series will feature National Geographic Explorer Aaron Huey and his 8-year-old son, the youngest published photographer in National Geographic magazine at the age of 4. The video can be watched on National Geographic and Real Play Coalition social media channels. #PlayMadeMeThisWay.
Real Play Coalition website
To inspire parents, guardians, teachers and children alike to play, the Real Play Coalition are launching a brand-new website and mobile app, which on launch will contain 150 games and activities. RealPlayCoalition.com will be live on November 1st.
The Global Month of Play will enable more play opportunities for children across the world. It will form a platform to discuss just how critical play is in forming the well-rounded, creative, empathetic and lateral-thinking adults that tomorrow’s society needs. To learn more and to find activities in each area, search ‘Real Play Coalition’.
While a month is not enough, it is an important first step on a road to more playful childhoods.