Play’s Powerful Impact on Psychosocial Wellbeing
For many children, crisis is the new normal.
Climate-related disasters, conflict, and forced displacement put a heavy emotional burden on children and their families. These stressors can inhibit brain development and a child’s ability to learn — limiting their future.
But we know what to do — play, one of the most transformative forces in a child’s life, is also one of the most effective ways to support children’s psychosocial wellbeing.
Promoting Psychosocial Wellbeing Through Play
Advances in neuroscience confirm what educators have known for decades — providing a foundation of psychosocial support is critical to wellbeing and learning. For more than 20 years, Right To Play International has delivered programs with impact in both development and humanitarian contexts, harnessing play to support children’s education and wellbeing in some of the most challenging contexts in the world.
Children in crisis situations feel renewed agency, connection, self-confidence, and belonging after experiencing the freeing power of play-based psychosocial support. Right To Play is working with parents, teachers, coaches and community members to give them the tools and knowledge need to support children through adverse events. Through different types of play, like sports, arts, games and music, children can better cope with fear, stress, and anxiety — and unlock their creativity and joy. With space to process their experiences and manage their emotions, children can learn and thrive.
Psychosocial support is critical for children’s well-being and learning. And yet, it continues to be one of the most underfunded and overlooked areas of humanitarian assistance.
Right To Play’s new policy brief, Promoting Psychosocial Wellbeing Through the Power of Play, provides recommendations for how donors, national and host country governments can increase their impact in education by investing in psychosocial support through play, including in emergency situations. This is part of our commitment to make sure all children can claim their right to education, health, wellbeing — and play.