Group encourages kids and adults to unlock the superpowers of play
Today, October 12, the LEGO Group hosts its second annual World Play Day – a day dedicated to celebrating the benefits and joy that play brings and encouraging families to take a moment to play. And you will see some superb LEGO creations throughout the city, including colourful crabs along the quays, flowers near Molly Malone, or to building LEGO books for the iconic James Joyce statue.
Indeed, Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste will be sporting a LEGO made mayoral chain!! With new research from the LEGO Group finding that children are spending just 2 per cent of their week (equivalent to 7 hours) playing, the brand is sharing its biggest invitation to play yet. World Play Day 2023 will feature 24 hours of play-packed events, collaborations, and surprises to help people make their day a bit more playful, whatever their age, location or passions.
To celebrate this day in Ireland, the LEGO Store on Grafton Street will be giving away Brick Bags and Play Mission Packs in-store to all visitors, while stocks last.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste said: “Play is vitally important for our children, and it’s unfortunate to see that one third of children spend less time playing than the average amount of time adults spend of their phones. Nowadays, it’s often hard to find time to set aside for play, but that’s why World Play Day is so important.
“Whether it’s building LEGO books for the iconic James Joyce statue, building colourful crabs in the quays or even a simple game of hide and seek, you’re never too old to tap into your inner child and have fun exploring your own superpower of play. I’m delighted to be taking part in World Play Day and am looking forward to seeing how the LEGO Group brings play to Dublin.”
The Superpower of Play
Play is fundamental to every child, helping them develop crucial ‘superpowers’, or skills, that benefit them both now and in the future.
It’s not only children that benefit from playtime. Play makes the whole family happier, builds stronger family bonds and improves wellbeing, but in today’s busy world, it’s under threat. Family schedules are packed with everyday responsibilities with working long hours and chores proving the biggest barriers to family play according to parents. As a result, a third of children globally (32 per cent) are playing for less than 3 hours a week.
This current play deficit is a cause for concern for experts given the crucial role of play in shaping a child’s cognitive abilities, overall wellbeing and most importantly, in them having fun.
Dr Sara Baker, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge at the University of Cambridge says: “Play can supercharge a child’s future. Through play, children develop essential skills such as communication, confidence, teamwork and creativity that enhance every other area of their development, learning and growth. And play doesn’t need to take up too much time, it can be as simple as singing a song on the way to school or making up a new ending to your favourite bedtime story together.”
There’s a range of playful creative and celebrities on the LEGO Group’s social channels for ’24 hours of fun’ – sharing inspiration for how they are weaving play into the day.
And to help families share a few more playful moments of joy every day, Dr Sara shares her top five tips for including more play in the day:
· Make it simple – we all lead hectic lives, and we don’t want to add anything extra to our to do list. Play can be found in the simplest of activities, whether it’s a little dance while brushing teeth or using a bus ride to spot as many things beginning with a letter as you can.
· Don’t overthink it – play is fun, but we know parents often worry about how they should be playing with their child. There is no right or wrong way – anything that is enjoyable will be benefiting the whole family.
· Find a good play mix – try a range of playful activities to keep children entertained and help them develop a wide set of skills – from puzzles to singing or being active outside – everything helps!
· Let your child take the lead – kids have the most amazing imaginations, so if you are lacking for play ideas, turn to them and let their creativity run wild. They’ll be sure to have a good adventure up their sleeve.
· Use what you have around you – walking back from school? How about a game of hopscotch on the pavement, or in the car for a long journey? Make a game of I Spy with your friend.
Show us how you play on the day using the hashtag #TodayWePlay or visit LEGO.com/World-Play-Day to join in the fun.