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Last modified: 25 Jun 2018
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World Play Day celebrated at Patensie

13 June 2018
(From left) Kouga Library Coordinator Linda Jack, Ward 13 Councillor Margareth Peters and DSRAC’s Assistant Director for Sarah Baartman Libraries Unathi Nciweni check out the puzzle by Phumelela Meleni (8) from Masisebenze Primary School.

(From left) Kouga Library Coordinator Linda Jack, Ward 13 Councillor Margareth Peters and DSRAC’s Assistant Director for Sarah Baartman Libraries Unathi Nciweni check out the puzzle by Phumelela Meleni (8) from Masisebenze Primary School.

The importance of children playing is often undermined as a critical component in their development and this has to change if the country is to produce well-rounded future citizens.

This was the message at the World Play Day event hosted by the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and Kouga Municipality's library component at the Patensie Library last week.

Learners from Masisebenze, Graslaagte, Gamtoos Valley and Makukhanye Primary Schools took each other on in various games, including, puzzles, rope skipping and bowls, all in the spirit of promoting playing.

World Play Day is recognised by more than 40 countries worldwide and is included as part of UNICEF South Africa’s Calendar of Events.

Speaking at the event Ward 13 Councillor Magareth Peters said it was important to expose children to educational resources that were appropriate for their age and their stage of development.

“Libraries, therefore, play a very important role in guiding the playing and learning process by ensuring toys that we give to our children can be turned into beneficial educational resources,” she said.

Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said playing was a fundamental right that children had, but this was constantly trampled upon by the introduction of more technological and computer-based games as means by parents to simply keep their children busy and quiet.

“Yes, we need to protect our children, but we must not, in the process, deny them the many learning opportunities they get from being physically involved in playing and socialising with each other. Playing is the child’s biggest source of learning,” he said.

The right to play is enacted in Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and recognises the importance of children engaging in age-appropriate recreational activities.