By Esther Sithole

According to A Child’s Right to Play: Policy Brief for South Africa, “Play is both a right as well as essential for optimal development of children in their early and later years”. Play is not only fun for children but it helps them develop life – long skills. As children play their brain growth is stimulated, which sparks their creative thinking and imaginative skills. They develop their social and emotional strength, as well as physical strength such as balancing and coordination.

Penreach celebrates the International World Play Day annually as we advocate learning through play in Early Childhood Development. Communities come together from the surrounding areas of Mbombela and as their children participate in free play at Mbombela Stadium. The Play Day theme for 2019 was “The Child’s Right to Play”.

Th Penreach Play Day was recently held at Mbombela Staduim, 05 June, where 3015, 3-4-year-old children from 128 Early Childhood Development centres enjoyed free play at 50 different ‘play’ stations, along with 74 parents and 265 Practitioners.

32 of the Nedbank- Youth Employment Services Assistants were assigned to different roles during the event. As ECD Assistants, for most of them, it is their first time be employed, this was also an opportunity to experience the different developmental games and working with children. Our new 10 Non- Centre Based Practitioners (NCBP’s) from the Umphakatsi Project also formed part of the days activities, with assistance of the non -centre based children from the community of Mafambisa.

According to the International Toy Library Association “play tends to be one of the most neglected of all rights of a child”. Most people in our society still do not view play as important, which may be detrimental to the holistic development of children.  Penreach main focus in hosting the annual Play Day event is also to educate parents/ caregivers about the importance of play and to inspire them to play with their children.

Penreach is about impacting positively to a child’s holistic development and achieving educational excellence. Here is a glimpse of all the fun that was had at Penreach Play Day 2019.

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