June 2022

For families to play more, we need better policies

Playful parenting is a huge child development boost – but parents are too often over-stretched and under-supported. Here’s how systems can help families unlock the power of play.

The LEGO Foundation
Aaron Lee Morris

To support children, we need to support parents

In the first few years of a child’s life, their brain develops faster than it ever will again. By playing together right from the start, parents and caregivers give little ones fuel for all that learning and growing. And through that play they establish loving, nurturing bonds that help children grow up to be happier, healthier adults.

That’s why we at The LEGO Foundation fund parenting programmes around the world and promote playful parenting. We also share lots of quick, easy, free activities (including lots on this website!). But we know it’s not always easy to find the time to play. Parents are battling against busy days, stress – perhaps a bank balance stretched to breaking point. All these things can make play seem like a luxury, when it’s actually essential.

How can we change our society to help break down those barriers? We put that question to our Playful Parenting Programme Specialist, Aaron Morris. Here’s what he had to say.

There are five things we can do to boost playful parenting

Any parent will tell you their life would be easier if they had more time, and more hands available to help. That sounds like a big ask. But it’s more doable than we might think, if policymakers and business leaders target support in the right places.

1. Paid parental leave
2. Quality, affordable, accessible childcare
3. Giving parents spending power
4. Mental health support for parents and caregivers
5. Supportive communities

No-one should have to choose between security and family life

Living in Denmark and working with the LEGO Foundation, my partner and I have access to a social safety net that’s set up to support young families like ours. We feel lucky to have substantial paid family leave, universal healthcare, flexible work and access to high quality, affordable childcare. But every parent deserves that support. And every parent should feel confident they can raise a child in a safe, stable home and community. One where there’s enough stress-free time to play, bond, and give their little one the best possible start in life.

Quick, easy, free playful learning activities for the entire family


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