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LEGO® Play Well Study reveals interesting facts about South African parents and the importance of play

The LEGO Group has highlighted the importance of play and its value for children and the whole family. While toys may change with trends, LEGO® sets stand the test of time, tapping into the power of play to nurture a child’s imagination, build their confidence, and have remained constant for 90 years.

This was highlighted in the latest 2022 LEGO® Play Well Study*, which aims at providing a clearer understanding of what the simple, instinctive act of playing means in 2022 and to study both its evolution and its benefits to children and parents. Areas prioritized in the study include the power of play, sustainability, digital safety, and DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion). The survey polled over 55,000 parents and children in over 30 countries including South Africa and found that almost all parents think play helps children develop lifelong skills like creativity, communication, problem-solving, and confidence. Play also makes the whole family happier, builds stronger family bonds, and improves their well-being.

This year’s study revealed that 92% of South African parent respondents said they believed that play nurtures the positive qualities of resilience. The survey also found that play prepares children for the future by helping them develop a wide range of hard and soft skills, with 94% and 96% of parents also saying that play developed their children’s curiosity and creativity. Even more parents (97%) said playing had developed their children’s communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, and 95% and 94% saying said that play taught their young ones to be more confident and focused.

Although countless occupational therapists say ‘play is the primary work of the child’, the LEGO Play Well Study indicates otherwise, and highlights play as an integral tool in a child’s development. Parents consider it as important as learning in school in contributing to their child’s learning.


“Playing with your children, whether it’s through physical activity or building something together, also helps build and maintain emotional connections so that they feel comfortable enough to talk to you during difficult times,” says Miroslav Riha, country manager for The LEGO Group in South Africa.

“Using a game or toy as the focus of a discussion allows them to describe what’s troubling them in a space where they feel confident and comfortable.”

“Nurturing this connection through play when children are happy and relaxed will ensure that their parents are the first people they go to when something is weighing on their minds,” he adds.


Children themselves recognize that play is a good thing, with nine in ten saying that play makes them feel more creative and helps them explore new ideas and do new things. This experimentation is essential to building the tenacity and resilience they will need to navigate adult life.


“When children play – whether with construction toys, imaginary play, or even digital gaming – they are learning lessons in a fun way that will equip them for the rest of their lives,” says Riha. “The power of play is timeless and universal and cannot be underestimated.”


Riha was joined by Brent Hutcheson, Director at Care for Education, and Yvonne Mokhudung Segabutle, Educational Psychologist, in a panel discussion led by MC, and radio host and TV personality, Anele Mdoda on 13 September. Considering the 2022 LEGO® Play Well Study’s findings, the panel explored the power of play in more detail, mainly how it aids South African children in building resilience and broadening their imaginations using the power of everchanging play.

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