Aditya Birla World Academy celebrated ‘Global Play Day’ – an international event to encourage children for unstructured play

Mumbai: Aditya Birla World Academy celebrated an international event called ‘Global Play Day’, where students across the school played all day long, thus transforming an instructional day into a day filled with play. This day (5th Feb) which affirms a child’s right and need to play, is recognized around the world to encourage children to actively engage in unstructured play. This year around 3091 schools across the globe participated – out of which 20 schools were from India. Aditya Birla World Academy is one of the 3 schools from Mumbai that actively took part in this global activity that helps children experience the best of what childhood is all about.

It is extremely necessary for children to spend a few hours daily in play which allows them to have a balanced life. When children spend time outdoors, it helps in their overall development. Through this initiative, ABWA aims to positively impact the lives of its children by encouraging them to play a range of games which don’t involve modern technology. In this endeavour, the Pastoral Care Team at ABWA created different game stations, board games, group games and outdoor games which enabled the students to engage in unstructured play. All games restricted the use of screens and devices.

Commenting on this initiative, Mrs Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Aditya Birla Education Trust said, “We are really thrilled to celebrate the Global Play Day which recognizes the importance of encouraging students to play. While we have moved a few steps forward towards recognising mental health, we need to understand that one of the reasons why mental health concerns arise among children is because they do not grow up playing outside their house by engaging in physical activity. Most children are stuck to the electronic/ digital games, which has a negative impact on their mental health. For our future generation to have better mental health, it is important to encourage students to play tech-free and screen-free games that are more interpersonal.”

Mrs Radhika Sinha, Principal, Aditya Birla World Academy said, “When I was moving around the game-stations, I saw sparkle in the eyes of our little ones when they asked me, “Can we do this more often”? Global Play Day is an important reminder to parents, teachers and care givers about the importance that play time has in the life of children. Strongly believing in the idea of play as an integral aspect in a child’s life, ABWA held this day long activity because it also boosts mental health and overall well-being of the child. Hope this reignites the practice and returns the gift of unstructured play to our students”

A few student voices

Grade 3 student Siddhant Shah shared “Global Play Day helped me to connect and make new friends. It helped me learn that a classmate who I thought was irritating, was actually pretty cool.”

Antra Raman from Grade 5 said that “I learnt to teach with patience and kindness as the younger students needed help with learning how to play a few games.”

The entire Grade 10 emphasized, “This should be done before every exam as it helps us feel relaxed and unburdened. We simply forgot about the pressure of academics today and it created a sense of calm and balance.”