World Play Day with LEGO in Sydney

World Play Day with LEGO Everywhere

GeekMom

HAPPY WORLD PLAY DAY!! You know it’s a big deal when you decide to celebrate your 90th birthday with a worldwide event, call it World Play Day, and then stretch the celebrations over to the weekend. But it’s LEGO. And you must admit, it’s still looking pretty spritely for a 90-year-old. We’re talking bright colors, new outfits, an updated view on environmental impacts, and a willingness to listen. The party may start today, but there’s been a bit of lead-up to the special event. In June 2022, LEGO announced the plan to celebrate the power of play, introducing a nine-week summer campaign to promote more play across all generations. Around the world, LEGO has hosted numerous social and promotional activities, encouraging more play and creativity in us all. 

The Importance of Play

Seriously, though: Why do we need a World Play Day? Well, thank you for asking. The LEGO Play Well Study 2022 recently showed that even though most of us understand the importance of play, we don’t all put this into practice. The study polled 55,000 parents and children in 30 countries and found most parents think ‘play helps children develop lifelong skills like creativity (93%), communication (92%), problem-solving skills (92%), and confidence (91%)’. But it’s not all about turning ‘play’ into ‘valuable life skills’. Play also is super helpful for our mood-boosting endorphins. It also supports healthy family dynamics, with almost all children saying ‘play with the family makes them happy (97%), helps them relax and takes their mind off school (95%), and is their favorite way to learn’. 

The tricky part is finding the time to play as a family. 41% of parents surveyed believed they did not play enough together as a family. 8 in 10 kids wished they could play more with their parents. While the stats are a bit of a kick to the emotional parenting feels, rather than add to the guilt, LEGO is hosting a number of events around the world to encourage us all to get up and play again. 

Image by EG Mum

Celebrating World Play Day

Around the world, LEGO is encouraging everyone to take 90-minutes to simply PLAY. Okay, so the 90-minutes relate to the 90th Anniversary, but the idea of play is not limited to playing with LEGO bricks (though, there is nothing wrong with that, and I am sure many of us will do this). 

In Darling Harbour (Sydney, Australia), a collection of LEGO Minifigure statues have landed, each with its own suggestion for being a bit more playful. Do you know how to do the Chicken Dance? How about a game of Hopscotch? Or let’s pretend to surf the playful waves! Each statue is based on LEGO Minifigs you can purchase at any LEGO store with themes that are universal for children across all nations and cultures. The idea is to find a Minifig you like and follow their suggestion! The imagination playground is free to the public from Wednesday, August 10, to Sunday, August 14. I watched many young families come down and enjoy the playful ideas on opening day. Little kids loved the entertaining designs, while older kids were laughing along with silly activities and ideas. There were more than a few adults joining in, with AND without kids. 

LEGO New Zealand is bringing the vibe, converting Auckland’s Westfield Newmarket into a playground with room for breakdancing and a game of hide-and-seek. Similarly, the LEGO Store in London’s Leicester Square is offering a ‘Make & Take’ activity to build a classic red brick to take home. The London store has been redesigned to coincide with LEGO’s 90th Anniversary, offering many exclusive LEGO sets to mark the occasion, including a LEGO Store Set, a LEGO Delivery Truck, and a ‘Lester’ Minifigure. 

New York has gained its own giant LEGO playspace in the city, designed by artist Hebru Brantley, with a little help from some playful kids. Love the great use of street space with a volcano, a rocket ship and ‘friendly’ snakes. Check out this post shared by @LEGO on Instagram:

Image by @LEGO on Instagram

Play Well

The truth is, you don’t need LEGO to play. Even if the main idea is right there in the name: the word LEGO is derived from the two Danish words Leg Godt, which mean ‘Play Well’. While it hasn’t always been about plastic building bricks, it has always been about PLAY. Back in 1932, Ole Kirk Kristiansen simply wanted to make toys to encourage play. That wooden duck continues to be a symbol of the importance of play and the importance of quality. 90 years later, the family-owned company continues to take their work seriously (and playfully). They still simply want us all to play. 

The original wooden duck at LEGO House, Billund (Denmark) / Image by EG Mum

If you have a fun play activity or LEGO event happening in your area (including any readers based in Billund, Denmark), we would love to hear about it! Share it with @geekmomblogs on Instagram. 

Can’t make it to LEGO House for the birthday celebrations? Check out GeekMom Jenny’s review of the book ‘The Secrets of LEGO House: Design, Play, and Wonder in the Home of the Brick’.

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