Mbombela – “Play is the highest form of research” said Albert Einstein Penreach experiences the transformative power of play for young children on a daily basis, in pre-schools and homes across the region. That is why Penreach Play Day is held on International Play Day annually.

The recent Penreach Play Day was held at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit last week. The event, with the objective of promoting a strong educational start in the early years, has certainly grown not only in attendance but also in support from local businesses and individuals.

Thursday, 24 May saw 119 Penreach Early Childhood Development Centres attend the fun day on the main playing pitch of the stadium, in the splendid autumn sun, bringing along with them, 472 practitioners and parents and a tremendous 2320 excited young children.

Studies by the Department of Social Development have revealed that approximately 59.2% of children between the ages of 0 to 6 years old live in the circumstances of dire poverty, where play is non-existent. “Not enough caregivers in our local communities understand the need for toys & play” says Penreach ECD Director Thulile Makofane. Therefore, as one of the largest educational outreach programmes in South Africa, Penreach feels its duty to educate around the importance of play in child development.

The annual Play Day was derived as a project to offer 3 and 4 year olds, opportunities to explore new ways of learning through play and to expose ECD practitioners and parents to new ideas and games. This year the day presented an incredible 50 play areas offering new ways to use active play for physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of young children. Games were carefully designed and selected to ensure that they were able to be recreated back at the ECD Centres or within the homes of the children.

In its second year running Penreach decided to focus on the involvement of the local community and mobilise them to make a difference together. Penreach employed the services of local marketing company, Mindful Marketing to assist with not only improving the play day concept, as well as coordination and management of the event, but to recruit the support and sponsorships of the local business community.

An enthusiastic 19 businesses came on board and joined the Penreach Call to Play, some in the form of generous donations, others in the form of play. All the sponsors involved with this amazing initiative brought energy and passion to the day in special and creative ways.

Penreach Play Day is about connecting within our communities; it’s about smiles and laughter, all of which were abound throughout the day. Young and old, practitioner or parent, corporate sponsor and 4-year child, One and All had an extraordinary time. A mammoth thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers, participants, parent, practitioners, and staff that made this incredible day such a resounding victorious possibility. As Adriaan de Beer General Manager of Newshorn and a sponsor at Play Day 2018 said, “I forgot how much fun I could have!” To join us and others like Adriaan at Penreach Play Day 2019, send an email to partners@penryn.co.za.

View all the fun had at Penreach Play Day 2018, via this link: http://penreach.co.za/gallery/


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