All children, by virtue of their humanity, have rights.

These rights are enshrined in the Constitution and protected by South Africa’s laws.

These needs are directly linked to universal needs shared by all children.

All children everywhere have basic needs. More than just physical needs, these needs encompass social, cultural, emotional and psychological needs. These include the need to play for healthy growth and development. 

Grown-ups must help.

Children depend on adults to help meet their needs. The vulnerability and lack of power inherent in childhood means the adult world must ensure that children’s needs are met and children’s rights are respected.

Children’s rights are everyone’s responsibility.

Government and community policies at all levels must take active and consistent account of children’s rights. They must introduce the necessary measures to ensure that these rights are respected for all children.

Play and Learning ​​​​​​​

We see play as a powerful vehicle for positive change in South Africa’s communities.

Play Africa is part of a global movement that celebrates and promotes the power of play in learning. For young children, free, self-directed play is an integral part of early learning and healthy development.

Play is widely understood to spark imagination, enhance creativity and problem-solving capacities, promote teamwork, and instill empathy and compassion for others.

“You can change the lives of children in South Africa by donating today”

All Children Deserve Play​​​​​​​

South Africa’s groundbreaking Constitution and laws safeguard the rights of children. But inconsistent enforcement of these laws means that children remain among the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

​​​​​Many children in South Africa are growing up too fast, navigating a world created by and for adults. Across the country, there are few accessible and safe public spaces where all kids can just be kids.

Quality Play Yields a High Return on Investment

For young children, free play and the organising of objects and information in the world around them is an integral part of early learning and healthy development.

​​​​A growing body of global research shows that supporting early learning programmes delivers a far greater return on investment than similar programmes later in life.

Play Africa Why Play the Need

Early Learning is a Key Priority in South Africa

South Africa has made expanding access to quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) opportunities a leading priority.

Our vision directly aligns with the values enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution, as well as its National Development Plan 2030, a strategic plan to build a more equitable and positive future for South Africa.


Play Africa advocates for every child’s right to play, for accessible, high-quality early learning and ECD opportunities, and for vibrant, safe, and child-friendly public play spaces.


  • promoting the importance of play for families and communities;
  • raising the importance of children’s play with politicians and policy makers;
  • collaborating with others to pioneer ways of improving access to quality play for all;
  • leading and supporting campaigns for all children to have freedom and space to play throughout childhood; and
  • empowering families, communities and educators to consider,
  • promote and plan for play.


Play Africa’s original exhibits and programmes are designed to support children’s cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. Exhibits and programmes are developed to be inclusive of children with special needs and disabilities.

You can play a part in protecting children’s right to play. Make a contribution to Play Africa today.