Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has teamed up with UNICEF this Christmas to provide disadvantaged children with play materials in order to allow them to experience the fun, benefits and magic of play.
UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development Kits target children under six years old who represent the highest percentage of those affected by today’s emergencies, including natural disasters, earthquakes, cyclones, war and conflict.
The kits are designed to encourage children’s development, learning and social interaction through play. They contain building blocks, puzzles, finger and hand puppets, balls, memory games, crayons, coloured paper, puppets, modelling clay, exercise books, and much more. Each kit will be used by caregivers to create safe learning environments for around 50 children, therefore reaching around 1700 children in need. The ‘HappyPacks’ will be sent to different locations depending on the current needs of children. Recently, these kits have been sent to children in the Central African Republic, Syria and Jordan.
The United Nations recognises play as the right of every child. Michel Lorge, General Manager of UNICEF Belgium ad interim, said: ‘We thank Toy Industries of Europe for supporting us during this festive season. UNICEF believes that play gives children the stimulation and physical activity they need to develop their brains for future learning. Through play, children explore, invent and create. They develop social skills and ways of thinking, learn how to deal with emotions, improve their physical abilities, and find out about themselves and their capabilities. A child’s play forms a solid foundation for a life of learning.’
Catherine Van Reeth, Director General of TIE, said: ‘TIE and its members are delighted to support UNCIEF’s HappyPacks. We recognise the importance of play in growing up. For children, it is a fundamental need just like eating, sleeping or drinking. The role of play in society should not be underestimated.’
Further information about the importance of play is available here.