Universal Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day: For Learning, Play, & Connecting

Universal Children's DayEach year, November 20th, is Universal Children’s Day as established by the United Nations. Started in 1954, Universal Children’s Day promotes the welfare of children and children’s connection to each other all over the world. One of the rights of children, is the right to play. Since the purpose of this website is to support children’s early learning and play, that seems especially relevant.

Why is play so significant? Quite simply, because play is how a child learns. The activity does not matter; it could be building with blocks, cuddling a stuffie, putting together a puzzle or throwing stones in a puddle. It could even be washing the dishes or putting away the groceries or playing I Spy while sitting and waiting.

importance of playIf a child is eager and having fun, creating, discovering and manipulating, this is play.  Through play, children connect their inner and outer worlds, increasing their knowledge and understanding and gaining confidence in themselves.

AND YES, children do indeed learn thru play. All kinds of brain connections are created and thinking skills developed in play. These are not just ‘academic’ or school-work skills, but social, emotional, and physical ones too. For the most part what children are learning is invisible, we don’t see those pathways and networks growing in children’s minds.

block playKids do not just play with toys. They play with rocks, sticks, sandwich containers, pots and pans, the garden hose, mud, sand, water, bugs, kitchen chairs, blankets, keys, and parents’ electronic devices. While playing with cell phones, kids have called strangers in other countries. They have reprogrammed computers and unprogrammed TVs. To a child practically anything can be a toy.

Children play by themselves independently and with others. Play can be loud and active, or calm and quiet, although when it’s too quiet parents and caregivers get worried and run to check what a child is doing.

Some communities might have special events for Universal Children’s Day. Just having some time to play is another way to honor the day. How will your child–and you–play?

The Importance of Education and Universal Children’s Day

Nov. 20th, Universal Children’s Day, will be celebrated in many countries of the world. This day commemorates the adoption of the United Nations Declaration Of The Rights Of The Child and UN Convention On The Rights Of The Child. For 2012, the critical importance of education for children is being recognized with a new initiative called Education First aiming to “put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship.

Education does not just mean school. When it comes to learning and development, the early childhood years are key. Parents, caregivers and communities are the teachers for those years before children ever get to school. To support your child’s learning and fun, check to see if there are any events in your community. You may be able to bring children to work for the day or go for a special lunch treat. Is there a community children’s charity that could use some support? Even young children are interested in helping others. You and your child may want to take some books, toys or clothes to a center for children in need

More and more, as a global community, we are recognizing our responsibility to support children and education. What can you do for Children’s Day?