3rd Global School Play Day - 1 February

Global School Play Day is taking place for the third time on 1 February 2017 raising awareess of the importance of unstructured play in life, especially in childrens'. In the introduction to the event its website calls the attention of educators to Peter Gray's TEDx lecture, that clearly argues the case that today's kids do not grow up playing and this has negatively impacted them in many ways. It's time we return the gift of play to this generation. The right to play and playful learning have been high up on parents' agenda in Europe and becoming a hot topic for parents all over the world. This is why we are happy to share this initiative and suggest you try to make your childrens' school to join. And why not also put more emphasis on play at home on the day?

 How Does GSPD Work?
First, please register your class/school to tell the world that you will be participating in GSPD 2017. If you do not teach, but would like to register your vote of support, please use this form

1. EDUCATE Teach your students, parents, colleagues, and administration about the benefits and necessity of play. Perhaps you could share Peter Gray’s TEDx video with them on the decline of play in our culture.

2. GET SOCIAL Invite your colleagues to participate in Global School Play Day 2017 (February 1.) Light the fire so others will catch the vision of returning the gift of unstructured play to this generation by talking about it on social media and in the teachers’ lounge. Write your own blog post encouraging your readers to join in on GSPD. Connect with the GSPD community by hashtagging your social media posts with #GSPD2017.

3. CALL FOR TOYS Tell your class to bring anything they wish to play with to school on Wednesday, February 1st. The only restrictions: they must bring toys and these toys may NOT require batteries or electricity. No devices. Give them some ideas, since today's kids rarely play and often own very few toys: board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, blankets (for forts), social games (charades, Pictionary, etc.) The only exception on the electronics rule would be a board game that has an electronic timer, an electronics play kit, or similar. How about taking your students out in the dirt or snow to dig, explore and get messy? You may want to show your students photos of GSPD15 to open their eyes to unfamiliar types of unstructured play.

On February 1, allow your students to spread their toys out around the room or take the kids outside and just PLAY!

  • Don't organize anything for your students.
  • Don't tell them how to play with the toys/games.
  • Don't interfere with your students unless you see something that could get you fired or would physically hurt a child (this does not include something that may be physically uncomfortable for a child.)

Other than taking a few pictures/videos, try to be invisible and let the kids play. This is a day of unstructured play, not playful teacher-led lessons. You will be amazed at what your kids come up with!

5. SHARE AND REFLECT After the event, be sure to share your pictures, ideas, and reactions on social media (with parent consent) and hashtag them #GSPD2017. Perhaps you could add a post to your blog sharing about the experience. Ask your students to reflect on GSPD as well! Be sure to talk to your students and if possible, their parents, about the necessity of daily unstructured play. Your students will most surely ask if they can have play days more often. A great answer is, "Of course! Every day can be play day with your friends in your neighborhood after school. Keep playing like you did at school today, but just do it after school."

More information and ideas on the event website here.

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