Can you remember the last time you dreamed about limitless possibilities, leaned into your curiosity, or stretched your imagination?
When we are children, every day is an opportunity to discover something new. As a result, children experience a sense of wonderment when they have their eyes opened to their own potential. Often, these moments of wonder and discovery happen when children have the space to play. Every single toy and book counts when sparking the power of play. But what happens when they don’t have that opportunity?
For children who face barriers to their rights to survive and thrive—including food insecurity, racial inequality, access to education, access to clean water, or a myriad of other challenges—the importance of play is often deprioritized. Children First Canada states that statistics show one in three children in Canada do not enjoy a safe and healthy childhood, and the impacts of COVID-19 have only exacerbated the conditions of these barriers. This year has also brought new light to the already horrific truths about residential “schools” and their intergenerational impacts on Indigenous communities, an unrightful weight that still lays heavy on the shoulders of First Nation, Métis and Inuit children today.
National Child Day is a response to the challenges that remain for children in Canada to enjoy their rights outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) and Canada’s ratification of it 30 years ago. Article 31 of the UNCRC recognizes a child’s right to play, and it’s a right we’re passionate about supporting at Mastermind Toys.
Our philosophy is that “Play is Kids’ Work,” as we aim to inspire generations of lifelong learners through the power of play. We are proud to be a partner of National Child Day in an effort to make the playing field welcome to all.
I have continually been inspired by the resilience of children throughout the pandemic, as we’ve all had to reimagine our lives, and there’s no denying they are #8MillionStrong. I get to hear stories all the time from our Play Experts in Mastermind Toys stores from coast to coast to coast, or from memories sent to me directly by our customers about how children’s lives can be impacted from a toy or book. Stories about how they felt empowered by a book they read by an author who looks just like them. How they were given the building blocks to imagine a world they can create, one full of possibilities. Or how they gained a sense of empathy and understanding for those around them by acting out scenarios they see in their own lives. The development that comes from these experiences gives children important skills that will benefit them throughout their lives—and it’s why I always say, “the world is truly better at play.”
Participate in this year’s National Child Day 2021 event on November 16 at 1 p.m., as we take action across the country to address the rights of children in Canada so we can create a better future for them to grow up in. Join me in helping to make play kids’ work.