World Play Day 2023 to promote sustainability through play

Candice Abraham playing with the children at Cotlands in celebration of World Play Day. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Candice Abraham playing with the children at Cotlands in celebration of World Play Day. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Published May 6, 2023


Cape Town - On May 28 the world will celebrate one of the best parts of being a child: playing.

World Play Day is coming soon and the Toy Library Association South Africa (TLASA) is planning to make it memorable by hosting play sessions across the country.

Toy libraries and play-focused organisations around the world celebrate World Play Day on May 28 each year.

The founder, Dr Freda Kim, recommended the day at the eighth International Toy Library Conference in Japan in 1999.

Annika Savage, the chairperson of the TLASA, said they will be partnering with toy libraries around the country to provide play sessions in all provinces.

“Play events are mostly open to the whole community and children and adults get the opportunity to play together. This is very important for building connections, participating in fun, engaging and practical activities together,” said Savage.

She also told the Jelly Bean Journal team that this year’s play day theme is playing towards sustainability. She said that it is important to get the message out to children and parents that toys do not have to be expensive and colourful.

“Another message for this World Play Day is that toys should be reused as much as possible. We want to encourage the public to start donating used toys to toy libraries and other play-based organisations in their vicinity. In this way, we maximise the play with every toy,” she said.

She added that May 28 is not only World Play Day, but also International Toy Librarian’s Day and their main play day in Gauteng will be combined with the awards ceremony for the Toy Librarian of the Year competition.

TLASA will also be launching a free website and a booklet which aims to educate parents and teachers on the value and importance of play.

Schools, organisations and communities are encouraged to participate in World Play Day.

Milkwood Learning Academy in Gordon’s Bay will be opening their toy library during the play event on May 27. Macassar and Khayelitsha will also be hosting play events.

Cotlands, a national non-profit organisation offering access to play-based early learning, will also be celebrating this year’s World Play Day. The theme will be “Play the Hero”, where adults and children will dress up as their favourite superheroes on May 28.

The aim is to help raise awareness of educational toy libraries to serve vulnerable children. They want everyone to participate to help them raise funds. Donations go towards their toy library programmes.

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