The brand shares its biggest invitation to play yet, after new research finds that children spend just 4.16% of their week playing.
Billund, October 6th, 2023: On Thursday, 12th October, the LEGO Group will be hosting its second annual World Play Day – a day dedicated to celebrating the benefits and joy that play brings, and encouraging families around the world to take a moment to play.
With new research from the LEGO Group finding that children are spending just 4.16% of their week (equivalent to 7 hours) playing, the brand is sharing its biggest invitation to play yet. World Play Day 2023 will feature 24 hours of play-packed global events, collaborations, and surprises to help people around the world make their day a bit more playful whatever their age, location, or interests.
The Superpower of Play
Play is fundamental to every child, helping them develop crucial ‘superpowers’, or skills, that benefit them both now and in the future.
It’s not only children that benefit from playtime. Play makes the whole family happier, builds stronger family bonds and improves wellbeing, but in today’s busy world, it’s under threat. Family schedules are packed with everyday responsibilities with working long hours and chores proving the biggest barriers to family play according to parents1. As a result, a third of children globally (32%) are playing for less than 3 hours a week.
This current play deficit is a cause for concern for experts given the crucial role of play in shaping a child's cognitive abilities, overall wellbeing and most importantly, in them having fun.
Dr Sara Baker, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge at the University of Cambridge says, “Play can supercharge a child’s future. Through play, children develop essential skills such as communication, confidence, teamwork and creativity that enhance every other area of their development, learning and growth. And play doesn’t need to take up too much time, it can be as simple as singing a song on the way to school or making up a new ending to your favourite bedtime story together.”
Join the Fun
To help those of all ages unleash their superpower of play, the LEGO Group has the perfect playful activity for any family schedule. From interactive events to games that take just minutes, the day’s play-packed roster is full of inspiration to help families and communities find a quick and simple moment of playful joy.
On the 12th of October, the playful celebrations will welcome families to a series of awesome events in all corners of the world:
- The LEGO Superpower Academy will open in London’s Shoreditch bringing families and their playful superpowers together to solve a range of fiendishly fun challenges. The free event runs from 12th – 18th October with tickets available here.
- New York will kick off World Play Day in Times Square by ringing the ‘recess’ bell, giving adults an opportunity to prioritize play during their weekday routine. Play spaces will pop up to interrupt a regular work day with a city-wide call to action, led by an on the ground play squad offering opportunities to build and play.
- In Sydney, Pitt Street Mall will be transformed into 'Play Street Mall' with a giant playground helping those of all ages enjoy a moment of play from 12 October to 14 October.
- In Germany, families in Essen will be able to put their superpowers to the test at the LEGO PlayZone at Zeche Zollverein (Grand Hall) which will feature five exciting opportunities to supercharge family play. Families can visit for free from 7th – 12th October.
- Famous LEGO builders will be hosting a build along event at Lotte Mall Suji in South Korea, inviting families to rediscover the power of play as they create together.
- In Malaysia, children will be invited to redesign traditional offices spaces to make them more playful, with co-working spaces in in Kuala Lumpur & Selangor getting a makeover to encourage more people to take a play break in their day.
- Families in Taipei will find play popping up at the Taipei Performing Arts Center as the arena is turned into a playground to inspire families to come together to play on the day.
And families that can’t make one it in person, there’s still plenty of play to be found:
- A range of playful creative and celebrities will take over the LEGO Group’s social channels for ’24 hours of fun’ - sharing inspiration for how they are weaving play into the day.
- Selected LEGO Stores in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, North America and our flagship stores in China will be handing out free play mission packs on the day. Visit LEGO.com/stores for more details.
- LEGO® Education will be helping teachers bring more play to the classroom with brand new activities designed to help students learn through play. Visit www.education.lego.com for activities and more.
- On LEGO.com families can take part in a range of quick and easy interactive games and experiences or visit LEGO.com/kids to take part in the virtual LEGO Superpower Academy experience and claim their Play Hero Badge.
- The LEGO® Life app will offer playful kids a huge range of Play Missions and challenges.
- And at LEGO House, the “Home of the Brick” in Billund, play is at the heart of the experience all year round. The house is designed to help families learn playfully and with 25 million of LEGO bricks, there’s endless possibilities for LEGO fans of all ages.
And to help families share a few more playful moments of joy every day, Dr Sara shares her top five tips for including more play in the day:
- Make it simple – we all lead hectic lives, and we don’t want to add anything extra to our to do list. Play can be found in the simplest of activities, whether it’s a little dance while brushing teeth or using a bus ride to spot as many things beginning with a letter as you can.
- Don’t overthink it – play is fun, but we know parents often worry about how they should be playing with their child. There is no right or wrong way – anything that is enjoyable will be benefiting the whole family.
- Find a good play mix – try a range of playful activities to keep children entertained and help them develop a wide set of skills – from puzzles to singing or being active outside – everything helps!
- Let your child take the lead – kids have the most amazing imaginations, so if you are lacking for play ideas, turn to them and let their creativity run wild. They’ll be sure to have a good adventure up their sleeve.
- Use what you have around you – walking back from school? How about a game of hopscotch on the pavement, or in the car for a long journey? Make a game of I Spy with your friend.
Show us how you play on the day using the hashtag #TodayWePlay or visit LEGO.com/World-Play-Day to join in the fun.
Notes to Editors
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About the research
All findings from the report, unless otherwise referenced, were gathered from a total of 21,180 parents of children aged 6 – 12 across 22 markets during August 2023.
Where data is referenced as the LEGO Play Well study 2022, the research was conducted among a total of 32,781 parents and 24,593 children aged 5 -12 through a 20 minute online quantitative survey conducted across 35 markets in early 2022.
Building a Brighter Future
The past nine decades have reinforced just how important play is to all children. That’s why 25 percent of the LEGO Group’s profit dividends go the LEGO Foundation, giving millions of children the chance to play and learn – including those who are disadvantaged and impacted by crises. Last year, the LEGO Foundation committed over $440 million USD to help children around the world reach their full potential through play.
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: www.LEGO.com