Channeling children’s energy and creativity through play

Eurochild member KeKi attends the LEGO Group’s Build the Change workshop with children in Brussels.

This blog was written by Isabella Goossenaerts, Project Manager at KeKi (Kenniscentrum Kinderrechten - the Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre), a member of Eurochild from Belgium.

On Wednesday, June 28, KeKi participated in the LEGO Group’s Build the Change workshop at the LEGO Discovery Centre in Brussels that sought to understand how kids interpret play.

Twenty-three kids between 6 and 11 years old joined the workshop. Their participation reminded us of how observative and honest kids are. For example, the workshop facilitators asked them a couple of questions such as “why is play important?”, and “whether or not they think adults like to play?” Many answered yes to the latter question but noted that adults allocate too little time to play. As a follow-up question, the facilitators asked children what adults should do to spend more time playing. Their answer: throw away the phone! 

The building was the part that the kids I spoke with enjoyed the most. They were asked to build what play means to them. Their builds were very creative - ranging from parks with lots of trees to play hide and seek; to boats on the water with which they could explore. When we asked them individually about their creations, they could proudly tell what they built, why it was important to them and what was missing. While the meaning of play varied for each kid, few things reoccurred: freedom and green spaces, exploration, and being together with friends.

Kids are experts of their own lives. They have so many things to share that matter and can contribute to larger debates. But to do so, we (adults) need to approach them in ways that are accommodating to their interests. The Build the Change methodology helps channel kids’ energy and creativity to get valuable and unmissable insights in their thinking.

Thank you International Play Association, Eurochild, BRAC, LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group for having us!

Eurochild and partners are carrying out an online consultation with children and young people to develop a Call to Action for the UN General Assembly – click here to access this survey.

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