Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and dexterity. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore the world they can master, conquering their fears. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies. In fact, it has been suggested that encouraging unstructured play may be an exceptional way to increase physical activity levels in children. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.

Play is integral to the academic environment. It ensures that the school setting attends to the social and emotional development of children as well as their cognitive development. It has been shown to help children adjust to the school setting and even to enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills. Play and unscheduled time that allow for peer interactions are important components of social-emotional learning in schools.

Hence, knowing all the above-mentioned benefits of play for all round growth and development of children, Navjyoti Center in collaboration with Shree Ram H.S. School and Jana Jagriti School conducted Local Game Promotion Tournament and celebrated World Play Day Celebration on June 16, 2017. The main objective of this celebration was to encourage the children to play games and learn as well for their overall growth and development i.e. physical, mental, social and emotional. This was a one-day long celebration in which around 450 students of Shree Ram School and Jana Jagriti School participated along with 30 school staffs of both schools.

We had conducted one game for each class from class ECD to 10. The selection of the game for each class was done by collaborating with the principal, sports teacher and school staffs. Navjyoti staffs directly interacted with them and finalized all the games for the tournament. The games that the students played during the program are given below:

  • Class ECD – Arranging the school bag
  • Class 1 – Hot Potato
  • Class 2 – Biscuit Race
  • Class 3 – Math Race
  • Class 4 – Marble Race
  • Class 5 – Musical Chair
  • Class 6, 7 (Girls) – Separating Cereals
  • Class 6, 7 (Boys) – Kho Kho
  • Class 8 – Breaking the pot
  • Class 9, 10 (Girls) – Making a garland
  • Class 9, 10 (Boys) – Cock Fighting

The participants for each game of each class were selected by the teachers one day before the program but the practice of the students to play these games had been started before 10 days. So, in the main day of celebration, it became easy for the smooth functioning of the program and it became a successful one. All the students enjoyed and it was a grand success.

After all the games were played, prizes, certificate & medals were distributed to all the winners and to mark their victory they were congratulated by putting a red tika on their forehead.

Also, during the whole program as it was very hot we distributed tang juice for the children as refreshment. And at the end of the program, We also distributed “Dahi & Chewra” (Curd & Beaten Rice) to each student as lunch. The reason why we distributed dahi and chewra was that Nepal is an agricultural country and as the rainy season has started, cultivation of different things has started and it is believed that dahi chewra has to be eaten during this time. So, Koshidekha also being agricultural dependent village we distributed this food to all and everyone was very happy.

When we asked the students if they liked the program or not and whether they enjoyed it or not, One of the students replied “Today’s program was very entertaining, we enjoyed a lot” and they were asking us when are we going to conduct this kind of program again.

The principal of Shree Ram School said, “We are very grateful to Navjyoti Center for conducting this grand program. It always feels great to collaborate with Navjyoti and work. Navjyoti Center is doing a wonderful job for the overall development of the children of our village and we are looking forward to working together in the coming future.”

Hence, the program became a very successful one and all the students enjoyed the program and we were able to secure children’s right to play for the overall growth and development of the children of Koshidekha.

Echhya Bajimaya
For Aisha Kavalakattu, SCN