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National Child Day: On November 20th, How Will You Play?

November 1st, 2014

Submitted by Ilene Fleming

Play is an integral part of childhood. It is how children learn, develop and grow. Through play, children explore their world and their relationship with it. Play is a vital process for the healthy development of every child. It is through our collective efforts that we will  ensure that this right is protected and barriers to play- either due to poverty, lack of community resources or disability- are removed so all children can experience the joys and benefits of play.

This year’s theme is 'It’s Our Right to Play', as outlined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

What is National Child Day?

On November 20th, Canada and countries around the world celebrate National Child Day as a reminder of our shared commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is the most comprehensive treaty in support of children. It is signed and ratified by more nations than any other human rights document in history, attesting to its global significance and the underlying universal values it upholds.

Why is it important to recognize National Child Day?

Alberta is known as a province rich in natural resources, talent and economic potential, but our most precious resource is our children!

We know that 37,000 children are living in poverty in the Alberta Capital Region. Far too many do not have the basics including access to high quality childcare or after school play and learning opportunities.

As a community, we are able to have the most direct positive impact on the lives of children. National Child Day is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss to engage our community as a whole about key issues and their implications. It reminds us of our responsibility to ensure children’s rights are upheld - every day.

There are many reasons to celebrate children, but most of all because children deserve to be recognized as important members of our community!

In order to celebrate and recognize National Child Day in Edmonton, our local collaborative committee has planned a week of activities.Some provide training for professionals, some raise awareness of barriers in our community and many provide fun play activities for children and families.

  • “Passport to Play” Programs:

    • Date: Sunday, November 16th

  • Move and Play Traditional Games Training

    • Date: Monday, November 17th

  • High Five Training

    • Date: Thursday, November 20th

  • United Way Poverty Simulation

    • Date: Thursday, November 20th

  • National Child Day Proclamation Event

    • Date: Thursday, November 20th


    • Date: Sunday, November 23rd

    • Location: Casteldowns YMCA 11510 - 153 Avenue

    • Time: 1 - 4 p.m.

More ways to get involved: We encourage everyone to participate in National Child Day. A few suggestions of how to get involved are:

  • Make and wear a blue ribbon to show that you support all children having primary consideration in decisions that affect them;

  • Engage your community league/school/workplace in the fun - check out the online toolkit to get ideas for an activity or to plan an;

  • Donate to a children's charity – with weather getting colder, it’s a great time to give to Coats for Kids and Families so kids can enjoy outdoor play, or one of the many other great children’s charities in our city;

  • Check out the video "This is Me" about the right to play – and share it with others;

  •; and

  • Take time to play with children in your life!

There are many ways to get involved….and don't forget to share your activities on Twitter: @NatlChildDay and use the hashtag: #NCDAlberta or #NCDPlay.

To find out more please visit

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