International Day of Play

Article category: Events .
June 11, 2024
Empowering Children Through Play: Celebrating the First International Day of Play and Its Impact on Children with Visual Impairments

The International Right to Play Day was established to underscore the critical role of play in children’s lives. The United Nations designated 11 June as the International Day of Play, starting in 2024, following efforts by Right To Play and its partners, including the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation. This initiative was supported by a Core Group of UN Member States, such as Vietnam, El Salvador, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Kenya, and Luxembourg, which played a crucial role in mobilizing support for the resolution within their regions.

The day aims to address the underestimation of play‘s value, with a global research study revealing that 73% of children felt adults did not sufficiently value play as a learning tool. Despite play being recognized as a fundamental right by the United Nations in 1989, only 30% of adults were aware of this fact. The International Day of Play seeks to bridge this gap, emphasizing play‘s importance in fostering creativity, resilience, and lifelong learning.

The establishment of the International Day of Play is a testament to the transformative power of play and its essential role in childhood. It serves as a global call to action to ensure that every child has the opportunity to play, learn, and grow in a supportive environment.

Retina South Africa wishes to make use of this day to highlight the importance of play for children with visual impairments. Here are some examples of adaptive and inclusive play and games for children with visual impairments:

  • Adapted Games: Consider incorporating games like Battleship adapted for Braille readers, and traditional board games modified for tactile play. These adaptations can provide a fun and inclusive play experience. The Assistive Technology Centre of the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) has some adapted board games and large-print playing cards available for purchase.
  • Tactile and Sensory Activities: Engage children with activities that involve interesting textures and features, such as tactile tablets or sensory boxes. These activities can stimulate the senses and enhance cognitive development.
  • Physical Activities: Encourage physical activities like tai chi and yoga, which are excellent for building muscle, improving balance, and offering a relaxing experience. Adapted physical education with audible bells and guide ropes can make running and other activities accessible. Retina South Africa also has a program called Save Our Sight which introduces adults and children with visual impairments to sport and other physical activities.  Taking part in Physical activities will help enhance balance, functional gait patterns, and navigation tasks, enhancing mobility and independence.

For more information about getting involved with sport and other physical activities for persons with visual impairments, please contact Linsay Engelbrecht at


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