The LEGO Group Celebrates International Day of Play with Global Initiatives

lego international day of playJune 24, 2024 | The toy and play community celebrated the first-ever International Day of Play on June 11, an initiative spearheaded by The LEGO Group and The LEGO Foundation. This effort, undertaken in collaboration with partners including The Mattel Children’s Foundation, Hasbro, Sesame Workshop, and more, underscores the critical role of play in fostering education, development, and the overall well-being of children worldwide.

“An International Day of Play is an important recognition of a child’s right to play,” Sidsel Marie Kristensen, CEO of The LEGO Foundation, said in a press release. “Let's work together to ensure every child has the space and time to play and be the superheroes they are.”

To mark the International Day of Play, The LEGO Group rolled out a series of engaging initiatives worldwide, including an interactive “Build the Change” event at the LEGO House in Denmark and “Make & Take” activities at select LEGO stores in Denmark, the U.S., and the UK. Additionally, The LEGO Group created a dedicated World Play Day webpage that offered a variety of play activities; shared content across global and local social media channels; and developed and shared a LEGO Education school toolkit for teachers and educators.

Additional highlights include:
  • United Nations: A diverse panel of experts, including Ambassadors and representatives from UNESCO, UNICEF, Harvard Medical School, and The LEGO Group, convened on June 11 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to discuss the profound impact of play on children's cognitive, creative, social, and physical development. Their objective was to inspire global action to safeguard and promote every child's fundamental right to play, emphasizing its critical role in nurturing holistic well-being.

  • Boston: The City of Boston organized a free, city-wide celebration open to all, featuring a play-based activation from The LEGO Group. The day was also filled with sports, biking, board games, bubbles, face painting, arts & crafts, dance and music, and more powerful play experiences.

  • LEGO Mexico hosted a day of play activity with 1,000 kids from public schools.

  • The National History Museum UK hosted a LEGO Build the Change event.

  • Vietnam: UNICEF organized an early celebration of the International Day of Play at the UN House in Hanoi on May 30, attended by the UN's representative in Vietnam, the Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, and LEGO Group COO Carsten Rasmussen. The event featured a drawing competition titled "Playground of My Dreams," which received submissions from 8,000 school children. Twenty shortlisted drawings were exhibited, and several children were invited to share their inspirations behind their designs with the attendees.

  • Germany: The LEGO Group unveiled a partnership with Philipp Lahm, former captain of the German national soccer team and chair of the UEFA European Championship 2024, along with his charity (The Philipp Lahm Foundation). This collaboration aims to foster local community impact through various initiatives, including a summer program designed to benefit children.

The industry's collective impact surrounding International Day of Play included more than 1,600 media mentions across 70+ markets, reaching an audience exceeding 2 billion. International Day of Play initiatives directly engaged more than 11,000 children.

The Toy Association™ celebrated the first-ever International Day of Play on June 11 by uniting the toy community through its Toy Foundation to donate tens of thousands of brand-new toys and games, worth close to $900,000, that will bring the power of play to nearly 75,000 children in need across the country. The Toy Association’s initiatives, combined with the individual philanthropic and celebratory efforts of toy companies throughout the toy industry, helped to mark the inaugural day of celebration.