March 26, 2024

Time to play: Annual international day of play successfully booked for 2 billion children

The first International Day of Play will take place on June 11.

A Play Leader facilitates a sensory play activity with a small group of children in a BRAC Play Lab.

NEW YORK, NY – Global partners have successfully called on the United Nations to adopt an International Day of Play to champion and protect children’s right to play.

The LEGO Group, LEGO Foundation, BRAC, and other founding members of the movement are proud to announce that the UN General Assembly has adopted this international awareness day. 

The first International Day of Play will be held on June 11, 2024.

Play is a fundamental right for every child. What’s more, it’s underscored through the UN Charter for the Rights of the Child. Yet, the importance of play in helping children develop life-long skills is often forgotten.

“This is tremendous news for children the world over,” notes Dr. Erum Mariam, Executive Director of BRAC Institute of Educational Development. “Play is critical for children ages 0-5. This is the time when 90% of the brain develops. Children learn so much. With play comes socialization. With play comes self regulation. Friendship. Empathy. And Language development.”

BRAC knows that when children play, they also learn, heal, and thrive. The organization’s flagship early childhood development model, Play Labs, unites caregivers and communities to give all children the early start they deserve. With play at the center, Play Labs combine vibrant play spaces, engaging facilitators, a love for local culture, and an evidence-based curriculum.

Research on Play Labs in Bangladesh has revealed that play can improve children’s cognitive, language, socio-emotional development and narrow gaps among learners.


About BRAC Play Labs

Since developing the Play Lab model in partnership with LEGO Foundation in 2016, BRAC has adapted it across diverse settings — from South Asia to East Africa, from community spaces to government schools to humanitarian settings, in-person and over the radio — to demonstrate the transformative power of play-based learning in children’s lives. Play Labs have served 497,000 children across Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Uganda. In order to reach even more children with the power of play, BRAC created the PlayBook, a comprehensive toolkit designed to equip others with the tools to learn from, adopt, and contextualize Play Labs in their own countries and communities. Learn more at


About International Day of Play

The International Day of Play resolution was led by a Core Group of UN Member States: Vietnam, El Salvador, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Kenya and Luxembourg. This core group worked to mobilize support for the resolution within their regions. Find out more at


Notes to the editor

About BRAC

BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to empower the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings. Founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC now touches the lives of more than 100 million people across 17 countries in Asia and Africa. BRAC takes a holistic approach to alleviating poverty, running programs in education, health care, financial inclusion, youth empowerment, agriculture, and more. In 2022, it was ranked the top NGO in the world by NGO Advisor for the seventh consecutive time.


Based in New York, BRAC USA is the North American affiliate of BRAC. BRAC USA provides comprehensive support to BRAC around the world by raising awareness about its work to empower people living in poverty and mobilizing resources to support its programs. BRAC USA also works closely with its international counterparts to design and implement cost-effective and evidence-based poverty innovations worldwide. BRAC USA is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.


Media contact


Sarah Allen, Communications Manager
[email protected]