Nine brief moments (at @HallMiddle) out of MILLIONS on the “Best Day Ever” (trademark pending)
The seventh annual Global School Play Day is coming up in a week. I mean to press “publish” on this post soon after the 2020 event, however the world shifted in a significant way shortly after with the onset of the COVID pandemic. This past year has demonstrated, better than any research we could quote, the essential need for play in the lives of all children. Play isn’t some fluffy, “nice-to-have” accessory – it’s a pillar to our growth, development, well-being and happiness as human beings (and your dog/cat/gerbil at home feels the same).
Looking at these joyful images below, shared from around the world (and just a fraction of what you’ll find at #GSPD2020), is a somber reminder of the fact that many children haven’t been able to attend in-person school since March of 2020. Let’s also remember that the movement to reassert the fundamental role of unstructured play in schools and society is about equity – because even in normal times not all children live in environments that are conducive to play. Maybe they live far away from other kids; maybe their neighborhood has heavy traffic, or is unsafe in other ways. Without equal access to this key developmental resource, we recognize that these children are missing out on opportunities that more privileged communities simply take for granted.
But schools can change that – one classroom, one grade level, one campus, one district, one county (state? country?) at a time. Despite all the pain and uncertainty of the past year, let’s celebrate the beauty and possibilities we can discover through play. We hope to see millions of you out there on February 3, 2021, for #GSPD2021.