Today in the United Kingdom, something strange is happening. Children are taking over town centers, parks, woodlands, and beaches. And they are playing. Outside!
Playday, traditionally held on the first Wednesday of August, is the annual celebration of children’s right to play. Now in its 23rd year, Playday aims to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives. It is coordinated by Play England, working in partnership with Play Wales, Play Scotland, and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.
On Playday, children, young people, and communities get out and play at hundreds of locally organized events. Last year, over 830 events took place across the UK, and this year promises to be even bigger.
While Playday is first and foremost a celebration, it is also an opportunity to campaign on issues affecting children’s play. As part of Playday 2010, Play England and partners have launched the Our place campaign, which tackles the restrictions faced by children wanting to play outside where they live, and highlights the role of communities in shaping childhood.
Play England was instrumental in inspiring the KaBOOM! Play Day program, which was launched last year and similarly celebrates play by providing tools for communities to organize Play Days during the week of September 18-26. Last year, 1250 communities in every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) gathered together to advocate for a child’s right to play. This year, we’re gearing up for an even more spectacular week of fun and games, and we need you to get involved!
Because really, every day should be a play day.
The KaBOOM! Play Day program is presented by Mott’s and made possible by the ongoing philanthropic support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as NFL PLAY 60. Operational support for the KaBOOM! Play Day program provided by National Environmental Education Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Marine Corps Community Services. Together with KaBOOM!, these organizations are working together to sign up thousands of communities to host events that support the importance of play in children’s lives.