WHAT IS GLOBAL PLAY DAY
Global Play Day is a day dedicated to bringing awareness of the importance of unstructured play with children. The initiative was started in 2015 by three educators in California and today schools all over the world are participating. Dr. Peter Gray, a psychology professor, spoke at a TEDx Talk called, “The Decline of Play”, which outlines the importance of play for children’s social and emotional well-being. With more children being glued to their devices, this day encourages kids to tap into their natural default setting, which is to play.
GLOBAL PLAY DAY AT YHS
Global Play Day in the Little and Junior School was held from February 3-7. This week gave the students an opportunity to use their imagination and participate in different activities. The activities included:
- free play with the blue blocks;
- adding more play breaks and shortening teaching blocks;
- station rotation in the gymnasium which includes, hula hoops, paddles, circus equipment, balance beam, and climbing wall;
- board games in the Learning Commons;
- collaboration games;
- Snow Day trips to Cypress Mountain;
- and classroom free-play.
Adding more playtime will boost creativity, teach social skills, develop critical thinking, foster independence, and improve physical fitness.
Our Junior School, STEAM Coordinator, Jennifer Sharpe believes that Global Play Day is more than just a day of play; it brings awareness to a child’s right to play and it is our responsibility to provide time and space for children to explore and play on their own time.
Below are some of her tips on how to make play a priority for children:
- allocate weekly time for unstructured play, such as a day after school or a Sunday morning;
- take away the electronic devices, especially ones with screens;
- Invite friends over for collaborative playtime like board games, dolls, lego, and make-believe games;
- buy open-ended play materials like traditional lego (not the kits), Keva blocks, fort building kits, and craft materials.
For more information visit globalschoolplayday.com.
Administrative Assistant, Junior School