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The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation join UNICEF’s #KidsTakeover campaign to trumpet every child’s right to play

LEGO® #KidsTakeover event for World Children’s Day to let children direct advert on the Power of Play

Today, the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation are opening their doors to the world’s most creative geniuses, children, to help them voice support for their peers and share their thoughts on why every child deserves to have the right to play.

World Children’s Day marks the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; 54 essential rights for all children, including the right to voice their opinion and the right to play.

For the LEGO® contribution to “Kids Takeover”, a select group of children will assume a key responsibility of LEGO Group Chief Marketing Officer Julia Goldin’s role of ensuring world-class products and storytelling, and step into the shoes of the LEGO Foundation Chairman, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen’s role of advocating for learning through play. The children will direct a LEGO stop-motion advert on the power of play – using their very own words and creative ideas.

Julia Goldin CMO of the LEGO Group, said:

“Children are our role models. We listen closely to what they have to say in everything we do, from creating sets to telling stories. We are excited to join our partners to raise awareness of children's rights, especially the right to play which is critical to their development.  I can’t wait to see the amazing content the kids will create and the powerful message they have to share with children all over the world. "

Research shows that 98% of all 3-year olds are creative geniuses, but by the age of 25 only 3% have retained this skill*. Securing the presence of play in all children’s lives is essential as play is fundamental to the development of critical social, cognitive and creative skills needed to thrive and succeed in an increasingly complex and everchanging world. The consequences of missing out on play are significant.

John Goodwin, CEO of the LEGO Foundation said: 

“Children have a basic need for learning and developing through play. Yet the importance of play is greatly underappreciated and its link to developing skills like critical thinking, creativity and problem solving not widely recognised. We know these skills will be even more crucial to thrive and succeed in the future and that urgent action is needed to equip and empower children. At the LEGO Foundation, we’re excited to give the stage and creative direction to the real play experts and get their perspectives on how we can drive this important message across the world.”

Despite tremendous progress in recent decades, according to a study shared in the Lancet** nearly 250 million children are in danger of not reaching their full potential because they don’t play, learn or eat as they should. Almost 57 million children do not go to any kindergarten or pre-school, and the majority of young children under five do not have access to playthings and toys. These deprivations not only hold back individual children, they launch a cycle of disadvantage and inequity that can continue for generations.

Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF said: “We are thrilled to be working with organisations such as the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation to harness the creative power of children and to make World Children’s Day a huge global success.”

The end-product of today’s efforts will be a stop-motion advert that will give a voice to the millions of children around the world who live without play, and premiere across the Group’s and Foundation’s online channels in early January 2018. To follow the event and capture behind-the-scene shots from the day go to LEGO.com or tune in on our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. LEGO® Life will be covering the event exclusively for children.


The LEGO Foundation, LEGO Group & UNICEF Partnerships

Since 2015, UNICEF, the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group have joined forces to improve children’s lives by promoting quality early learning through play, and leaving a positive impact on children via the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

Key achievements of the LEGO Group Partnership

  • Introduced an industry-first Digital Child Safety Policy to secure the safety and welfare of children interacting with our digital products, channels and experiences.
  •  Developed a Child Protection Policy that aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of children engaged directly by LEGO employees and strategic partners
  • Updated Responsible Marketing to Children Standard to better reflect new online realities, and extended the authority of the LEGO Group’s Responsible Marketing to Children Forum, ensuring all employees working with marketing to children are trained in the new standards.

Key achievements of the LEGO Foundation Partnership

  • Driving advocacy around the importance of learning through play towards the government in South Africa, resulting in play being placed firmly on the education agenda in South Africa.
  •  Introducing a network of key player in South Africa to UNICEF who has established agreements with all partners in order to strengthen the message around play locally and to take full advantage of opportunities together.
  • Launching a Learning through Play online training course for 150,000 teachers in South Africa running until end of 2018.
  • Launching the 4-year Early Moments Matter campaign in January to promote and increase investment in early childhood development, including the importance of play


About the LEGO Group

The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company with headquarters in Billund, Denmark, and main offices in Enfield, USA, London, UK, Shanghai, China, and Singapore. Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and based on the iconic LEGO® brick, it is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials.

Guided by the company spirit: "Only the best is good enough”, the company is committed to the development of children and aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through creative play and learning. LEGO products are sold worldwide and can be virtually explored at www.LEGO.com.

For more news from the LEGO Group, information about our financial performance and responsibility engagement, please visit http://www.LEGO.com/aboutus

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks and/ or copyrights of the LEGO Group. ©2017 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.


About the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents, the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. For more information, please visit www.LEGOfoundation.com.


About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org

*Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking:
Kyung Hee Kim (2011) The Creativity Crisis: The Decrease in Creative Thinking Scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Creativity Research Journal, 23:4, 285-295: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400419.2011.627805

** The Lancet:
Advancing Early Childhood Development: From Science to Scale:
http://www.thelancet.com/pb-assets/Lancet/stories/series/ecd/Lancet_ECD_Executive_Summary.pdf