March 26th 2024:  Play is a fundamental right for every child. Yet, the importance of play is often forgotten.

To drive this ambition forward, a dedicated network of global organizations, play experts and, most importantly—children & youth themselves—have called on UN member states to support the resolution for an International Day of Play. The LEGO Group, LEGO Foundation, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and other founding members of the movement are proud to announce that the UN General Assembly has adopted this international awareness day.

“Play transcends culture, geography, and language. It is not only a fundamental right for children around the world, but crucial to their learning and wellbeing. Learning through play is proven to help build essential life skills, improve mental health and resilience, and encourage a love of learning in children. Through an International Day of Play, the IRC and the world celebrate play and solidify that it matters as a vital sign of childhood development.” David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee.

The world needs more play

Play is universal and taps into children’s natural enthusiasm and curiosity to learn. It teaches them to explore and wonder, connect ideas and experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the world. When children play they develop essential life skills, which are fundamental to their own and society’s progress.

“Play is not just for fun. It’s an essential part of our human nature. It’s through play that we learn, grow, and develop skills that will shape our future.” Anime, Child and Youth Advisory Group member, France.

In humanitarian contexts where children are affected by displacement, play is a vital tool for promoting wellbeing and building socio-emotional skills. The IRC and partners, together with the LEGO Foundation have seen the transformative power of play among children and communities through various programs across the world in Latin America, East Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Play has proven to be a vital tool for children’s learning, promoting healthy bonds among children, and with their caregivers, teachers and community.

Play is never just play

An estimated 160 million children around the world are working instead of playing or learning. The work draws on further global insights (1) revealing that, on average, three in five (59%) children would like to play more than they do now, whilst four in five (79%) of children would like to play more with their parents or carer.

The adoption of a UN resolution for a day centered around play, takes children’s right one step further. It creates a unifying moment at the global, national, and local levels to elevate the importance of play as central to children’s learning and wellbeing – ensuring time to play, space to play and support for quality play is prioritized.

The coalition of partners of International Day of Play is celebrating that this important movement has now been ratified, recognizing the true power of play at the highest political level. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the power of play on June 11th this year, and every year thereafter.

About International Day of Play

The International Day of Play was led by a Core Group of UN Member States: Vietnam, El Salvador, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Kenya and Luxembourg. This core group worked to mobilize support for the resolution within their region.
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Children & Youth Involvement

A Child & Youth Advisory Group, which includes members from Colombia, France, Germany, India, Sierre Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Spain, has been formed as key consultants for this initiative. As part of their role they will develop a Child & Youth Call to Action to be shared with world leaders, inviting them to strengthen their commitment to put play on the agenda.

About the LEGO Group

The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine. 

The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words Leg Godt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. Its products are now sold in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information:

About the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play.

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 50 countries and in 28 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at and follow the IRC on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.

1) International Day of Play Survey 2023; (2) LEGO Play Well Study 2024