Today the LEGO Group is celebrating nine decades of fan creativity and helping children reach their full potential though LEGO® play. To mark the occasion, the brand is hosting its first ever World Play Day – a full day of play-packed global events, collaborations and surprises dedicated to helping families and communities play more.
From the moment Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a young Danish carpenter, picked up his tools and made his first wooden car in 1932 he was focused on making high-quality toys that teach children about the world and give them the skills to thrive in it. He named his company “LEGO” from “Leg Godt”, meaning “Play Well” in Danish. To inspire fun, playful learning remains the toymaker’s purpose today.
system we know today. The LEGO® brick that offers limitless creative building possibilities was born in 1958.
In his small workshop in Billund, Demark, Ole hand-carved a collection of vehicles, ducks and yoyos and later started experimenting with plastic building bricks. His son, Godtfred, added a few small tubes to make the bricks click and stick together, officially launching the interlocking system we know today. The LEGO® brick that offers limitless creative building possibilities was born in 1958.
Since its inception, the iconic LEGO brick has featured in over 18,000 LEGO sets and inspired millions of children and fans to play and create. It’s helped them master engineering with LEGO® Technic; learn about robotics and coding through LEGO® MINDSTORMS®; explore friendships and adventure through the real and fantasy worlds of LEGO® Friends and LEGO® Ninjago, explore new digital playgrounds with over 85 mobile and console games and design some of the brand’s most popular sets with LEGO® Ideas. The brick was even celebrated in the bright lights of Hollywood in THE LEGO MOVIE™.
After ninety years of inspiring endless hours of play, the brand is dedicating its anniversary celebrations to helping more families find a moment of play in the day, after new research found that families feel they don’t play enough.
The Power of Play
The new LEGO Play Well 2022 study polled 55,000 parents and children in 30 countries and found that while play changes lives and brings people closer together, in today’s world, families are finding it hard to prioritise.
Almost all parents think play helps children develop lifelong skills like creativity (93%), communication (92%), problem-solving skills (92%), and confidence (91%). Play also makes the whole family happier, builds stronger family bonds and improves their wellbeing according to 95% of parents.
But despite the many benefits of play, families feel they are missing out – the majority of children (82%) wish they could play more, and a third (34%) of parents feel their family doesn’t play together enough. Everyday responsibilities like working long hours (31%), chores (28%) and simply not having enough time (32%) are the biggest barriers to family play according to parents.
Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, commented*: “A little bit of play can go a long way. When children bring a playful spirit to activities throughout the day – making a fort out of blankets and pillows in the bedroom, making a musical instrument out of pots and spoons in the kitchen, making up a fantasy story with a parent or sibling while riding the bus – they learn to think creatively and work collaboratively, essential skills for everyone in today’s world.”*
World Play Day
From 90 second play challenges to games that take just minutes, the LEGO Group and LEGO Foundation has the perfect playful activity for any family schedule, but World Play Day is the company’s biggest invite to play yet. The day’s play-packed roster is full of inspiration to help families and communities find a quick and simple moment of playful joy; whatever their age, location or interests.
“When my great-grandfather founded the company 90 years ago, he recognised that play could change the lives of children – it brings families together and helps children develop skills that can enable them to reach their full potential. He only had a small workshop, but he had big ambitions to ensure as many children as possible could experience the benefits that play brings,” said Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, Chairman of the LEGO Group. “Whether 1932, 2022 or on our 100th Anniversary in 2032, we have and will always strive to continue Ole’s legacy by helping all families, wherever they are in the world, to play well.” continued Thomas.
Join in the fun
The playful celebrations include:
Notes to Editors
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*LEGOLAND parks taking part in the activity includes: US: Florida, California, and New York, Denmark: Billund, UK: Windsor, Japan: Nagoya and Germany: Günzburg.
Building a Brighter Future
The past nine decades have reinforced just how important play is to all children. That’s why 25 percent of the LEGO Group’s profit dividends go the LEGO Foundation, giving millions of children the chance to play and learn – including those who are disadvantaged and impacted by crises. Last year, the LEGO Foundation committed over $440 million USD to help children around the world reach their full potential through play.
About the LEGO Play Well Study 2022
All findings from the report, unless otherwise referenced, were gathered from a total of 32,781 parents and 24,593 children aged 5 -12 through a 20 minute online quantitative survey conducted across 35 countries in early 2022. For a full list of countries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org