Play as a Universal Language – Celebrate Play Day on Saturday 22 April
This year’s National Play Day is held on Saturday 22 April. The day’s theme is play as a universal language. The theme reminds us how shared joy doesn’t always need words. We invite players of all ages, language backgrounds and special needs to enjoy shared play on Play Day and the play theme week that precedes it.
The National Play Day is held on Saturday 22 April. The entire week (17.–22.4.2023) is dedicated to play. The goal is to highlight play and the shared joy and positive feelings it brings. According to the Convention on Children’s Rights, children have the right to play.
– Throwing oneself into play and playing are sometimes difficult for adults. The play week offers a great chance to try different games with kids and adults, says the coordinator of the Play Day programme Karolina Lamroth from the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare.
The theme of this year’s play week is play as a universal language. Even if we don’t speak the same language, we can find a connection to each other through play. In addition to children speaking different languages, the theme of play as a universal language also invites children with special needs to join in on the fun. Many special needs children use picture aides in their everyday lives. Active games where words are not that important also work for them.
– With the help of play, everyone can let go of themselves for a moment. In play it is safe to try exciting things and feelings, learn to connect with a friend or even play through a new, scary situation that ends up not being that scary at all, says Executive Director Anna-Mari Laitila from the special children’s association Mahdollisuus lapselle ry.
The Play Day network coordinated by the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare includes over 50 different operators. The network wants to remind us all about the importance and positive impact of play regardless of age or nationality. To facilitate this, this year’s press release concerning play week and Play Day is issued in Finnish, Swedish, English and Ukrainian. In addition to the press release, we offer 14 game tips in different languages to help people play.
Play Day events are being held all over Finland. Anyone can organise a play event, as long as the event is free and open to all. There are many kinds of event organisers involved, including Mannerheim League for Child Welfare’s local associations, libraries, museums and churches. All Play Day events can be found at: https://leikkipaiva.fi/leikkipaiva-2023/leikkipaiva-tapahtumat-2023/
Play is a child’s right, but it is also beneficial to adults. Shared play time between children and adults brings much needed pause to our hectic and performance-oriented lives. The Play Day network hopes that during the play week people of different ages stop in their tracks and let shared play whisk them away!
Play Day invites adults and children to spend time together in unhurried play every single day of the year. The Play Day programme promotes play in various ways and encourages people to let play whisk them away. For further information and inspiration for play, see: leikkipäivä.fi, leikkipankki.fi
Coordinator of the Play Day programme
Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
Tel. +358 50 4635 615