Children’s Right #31: The Right to Play: Learn About Your Rights!

Children’s Right #31: The Right to Play: Learn About Your Rights!

Did you know that everyone has rights? Children under 18 have special rights that are described in 54 agreements. By learning about your rights, you can also speak up for them!

You have the right to play, rest, and relax. In some countries, children don’t get enough time to play or rest because they are forced to work, or are in a dangerous situation. Having time to play is very important, as it helps you feel happy, and teaches you skills that you need in school, with friends, and other moments in life.

There are many ways to “play”, such as doing sports like basketball, baseball, or swimming. Playing instruments like the piano or the drums. Playing board games or acting out drama plays, playing games on your computer or PlayStation. Games like “Freeze Dance” or “Sleeping Song” are easy games to play with friends.

Freeze dance

All you need is a radio, phone or other device you can play music on. The “leader” controls the music and lets everyone know when to start dancing. When he or she stops the music, everyone must FREEZE. Whoever freezes too late, is out. The winner gets to be the leader in the next round.

Sleeping Song

Choose someone to be the “leader” and have him or her sing: “Sleeping, sleeping, everyone is sleeping. And when you wake up, you are all: _______” Fill in the blank with various animals, insects, or even objects like cars or trees and let your imagination run wild. Whoever is sleeping has to wake up and act like whatever you say at the end of the song. The leader chooses the person who imitates the animal, insect, or object the best and she or he gets to sing and be the leader next.

You can find a lot of ideas for games and ways to play on the Internet, or just use your imagination and make up your own games. Have fun!

This 6-part series is contributed by UNICEF The Netherlands and the Child Protection Working Group on St. Maarten. For in-depth articles, visit