Article 31 and the Importance of Play.

Play is an essential part of every child’s life and throughout most of the history; kids have spent hour after hour playing. I read somewhere that a child have played 15000 hours during the first 6 years of his life.

Play is instinctive and not just for human children – all young mammals play. This shows how important it is to development.

Play ensures the maximum potential development of every child and play stimulates creativity, fantasy and is important to the emotional, cognitive, physical development of the whole child and is crucial for the development of the brain structure.

Through play children can explore their world, practice adult roles and play also improves children’s social skills by helping them to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts.

In play children learn the skills that are essential to lifeskills that cannot be taught in a more formal, structured environments.

In every way, play is a practice for life.

Play is so important to optimal development of a child that it has an article (31) of its own in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Article 31

  1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
  2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.


General Comment on Article 31

The UN General Comment on article 31(General Comment 17) was adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Friday 1st February 2013.

The purpose of a general comment is to widen and deepen understanding of a particular aspect of the Convention and to reflect the changing conditions under which children grow up. The General Comment is an official document that clarifies for the governments worldwide the meaning and importance of article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and clearly defines the responsibilities of governments that have signed the Convention . The General Comment will provide guidance to the States Parties and raise awareness of the importance of play in the everyday lives of children worldwide.

This general comment puts the spotlight on article 31 and provides ammunition to revisit and advocate for the child’s right to play.

The General comment was produced to address the concerns the Committee had over the poor recognition given by States to art.31 based on the reviews of the implementation of the UNCRC. International Play Association IPA took a lead role in the development of the General Comment.

Click on the link and read the whole General Comment

IPA is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 in Copenhagen and its purpose is to protect, preserve and promote children’s right to play as a fundamental human right, according to the Article 31 of the UNCRC

IPA has national organizations in many countries both in Europe and outside of Europe. IPA member groups initiate a wide variety of projects that promote the child’s right to play like seminars, conferences, research, publications and Play Days.

Click on the link to visit IPA website

Play is a fundamental right and a very important part of a children’s life.

Play is the work of children.








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UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part 2

Playtime Seychelles promotes UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We have published two story books for children about the UNCRC in creole. The books have been donated to Seychelles National Library and they can also be read on our website and downloaded for free.

One book for small children ”Sa pti lapen” (The little rabbit). This little story can be affiliated to UNCRC and can be used as a discussion with the children about their rights.

With the book come a set of pictures. The pictures are affiliated to the book and can be used both by adults and children to tell the story. Small children need to repeat for their understanding and they love to do it. It can also be a good material for discussion in smaller groups.

One book for elderly children “Nou annan en keksoz pou dir!”     (We have something to say!) and it is affiliated to articles 2, 6 and12.

Playtime Seychelles has also created a box with introduction material for small children about the UNCRC that we called “Play and learn your rights.” The content of the box is an introduction to the UNCRC for small children to learn about their rights in a play full way.

A poster for the classroom wall in easy read Creole

A teacher guidance how to work with the rabbit story, the mobile and discussion question for both small and eldery children.

The mobile material is for the small children to work with in small groups together with an adult. The material opens up for discussion about their choices and rights. Tip: make an exhibition out of the mobiles and invite parents, relatives and siblings. Let the children guide the exhibition.



The Un Convention of the Rights of the Child for adults.

About the Box

Free Downloads

Click to download PDF

Click to download PDF We have something to say!

Click to download PDF The little rabbit

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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child often abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC is a human rights treaty dedicated to children and was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989.

But the idea that children should have rights goes much further back than 1989. Already in the beginning of 20th century some activist started to promote the idea that children should have rights.

In the aftermath of 1 World War, Eglantyne Jebb the founder of Save the Children wrote the draft of the declaration on the Rights of the Child and together with others she campaigned for the first International declaration on the Rights of the Child adopted by the League of Nations in 1924, the United Nation adopted an expanded version of the declaration 1959. During the International Year of the child 1979 Poland proposed that it should be a convention for children.

During the next 10 years countries around the world debated and negotiated the text to what should become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

UNCRC is an international Human Rights agreement based on the three core principles of human rights Dignity, Equality and Respect. UNCRC sets a global rights agenda for every person under the age 18 years old.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a legally-binding international agreement, setting out the civil political economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.

Nations that ratifies UNCRC are bound to it by international law; ratifying states must act in the best interest of the child.

The UNCRC describes the obligation state parties have to all children living within its border. The convention is wide reaching and covers many aspects of children’s lives.

States have the responsibility to create the legislation and policy framework, and provide resources, so that UNCRC can be realized.

Rights are described as articles and there are 54 articles in the Convention. There are 4 articles that apply across all other rights in the Convention.

The other rights can be categorized into 5 categories

Children under 18 years of age are Rights holders.

Duty bearers are those defined as having obligations under the CRC for respect, protection and fulfillment of children’s rights. Government and everybody that works or act on the behalf of the Government such as teachers, police , social workers, judges health care workers etc. are the duty bearers and are responsible for realizing the rights of all children.

That means that duty bearers must consider and apply the provision of the convention in all aspects of their work that defect children, respect, protect and fulfill all the obligations that they have signed up for. For example if there is a culture of bullying on a school the school have to take appropriate action so all children can feel safe and learn.

The monitoring body of the UNCRC is the Committee on the Rights of the Child and  was established by the UNCRC. The Committee is an independent body of 18 experts elected by the State Parties. State Parties must submit a progress report every five year and their assessments are supplemented with information from other organizations like NGOs and children’s Commissioner and children can also submit evidence to the committee.

The Committee enters into “constructive dialogue” with states, and the output from the whole process is a report called the Concluding Observations and it summaries the Committees view on the status of UNCRC in the country. The report also contains recommended measures  to be taken by the state and also includes implementation and improvement recommendation to each individual country, which will be reviewed next time the state is examined.

The Committee has no way of enforcing its views, but the open reporting process makes states publicly and internationally accountable.

Two optional protocols were adopted on 25 May 2000.

The first Optional Protocol restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Both protocols have been ratified by more than 160 states.

A third Optional Protocol relating to communication of complaints was adopted in December 2011 and opened for signature on 28 February 2012. It came into effect on 14 April 2014.

There has always been a long standing focus on protecting vulnerable children from suffering as a charitable response, with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child children no longer have to rely on charity or kindness to meet their needs. Full implementation of UNCRC insures children the entitlement to that Equality, Dignity and Respect is upheld.

To be continued.









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Lekia did it again!- part 2

The toys went from Sweden in November, they were picked up by Active Air Cargo AB at Lekia’s Warehousein Malmö and transported to Arlanda Airport Stockholm, Sweden for delivery to Seychelles by Qatar Airways.

Meanwhile we were applying for tax exemption for a donation of toys at Seychelles Revenue Commission. We got the call from Seychelles Air Cargo that the toys has arrived to Sez Airport and we had to contact an agent, that we have used before so he could start to do the bill entry based on our documents and the tax exempt letter. After 5 days he finished the paperwork and it was time for us to go to the airport and pick up “our toys” from customs.


We unpacked the boxes when we came home and we always get the Christmas Eve feeling when we do this. To find out what it is in the boxes. We don’t know! It is a surprise! We got trolls, cuddle toys, gymnastic bags and rattles for small children from Lekia.
Then it is time to buy wrapping paper, ribbons and bows and to print the Christmas Gift cards and cut them out.
Next step is to consult our list with children that is in a need of a Christmas Gift and start calling around and talk to head teachers, orphanages and charity organisations and make appointments to deliver Christmas Gifts and to attend Christmas Parties
 Lekia send us more toys than we asked for this year, so we have been able to add two more recipients of toys to our list, Sisters of Good Hope that goes around and visit children and their families in their homes and Seychelles Hospital Maternity Ward.
Now it is time to start the funny work wrapping! I and my colleague will wrap around 400 Christmas Gifts that we will deliver during December
Every child should be entitled  to have a little playtime at least on Christmas Eve. 
Our first delivery of 70 Christmas Gifts was this week on Tuesday to La Retrait Schoolwhere we handed them over to the Head Teacher Mrs Sheila.
On Wednesday Playtime attended 3 Christmas parties at 2 Crèches and 1 Primary class.
I tell the children that these toys have travelled very far to reach them and Seychelles, from the other side of the globe, from a country named Sweden where it snows and is cold during winter. Some of the elderly children always give me the question “Is it where Father Christmas lives the North pool Madame?”

I also tookthe opportunity to talk to the children about road safety and pedestrian reflectors and gave each child a reflector.

We had a nice time on the parties, we gave the children the Christmas Gifts and wished all of them A Merry Christmas and had some cake. 
On Thursday we had the last delivery for this week of 60 Christmas Gifts and pedestrian reflectors to Caritas Seychelles for their Christmas party for children on Sunday.
Tomorrow the wrapping for next week will start.

To be continued


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A pedestrian reflector saves lives!

Be Visible Be Safe!


Pedestrian reflectors have been used all over Scandinavia for over 40 years and have proved to cut down the number of accidents between pedestrian and motor vehicle to half. Today personal pedestrian reflectors are used in many countries in the world and they are a cheap life insurance!
Pedestrians are three times more likely to die in a road acci


dent than other road users.

The risk to get hit or killed by a car increases three times in darkness.

Already at twilight the risk increases.

40% of all pedestrian accidents happens when it is dark.

Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others.

Remember, just because you can see the driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.


8 out of 10 drivers who struck people at night didn’t see them.


Speed and visibility is crucial.
Driving at 40 km/h that gives the driver only 2 seconds to react. A pedestrian reflector can be seen shining 125 metres in the headlights giving the driver a full 10 seconds to react, to adjust speed and give the pedestrian space.
Whit higher speed the distance to react will be reduced! 
At 80km/h the driver has only at most 5 seconds to react. 


More children between the ages 5-14 die as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle than from any other cause, natural or accidental.

Small children because of their size and that their cognitive and perceptual abilities not are fullydeveloped.
Elderly children and youngsters because they often are distracted by headsets, mobile phones and walking in groups talking and not focusing on the traffic, they are also more often out on the streets in the evening after nightfall.
Pedestrian reflectors can make it much safer and help prevent accidents where children and traffic meets. 
A person walking in lowlight conditions, wearing dark clothes is first seen approximately 20-30 meters. In light clothes 60 meters, when it rains even less. With a reflector 125 meters. The reflector is best seen if it sits low and moves. To wear a Pedestrian Reflector is the cheapest life insurance. 
   A Reflector Saves Lives
Encouraging children and adults to wear reflectors will make them more visible and can help to provide a lowering of the night time death and injury rate.
The Reflector is simply attached to the garments with a string and a safety pin. It can be stored in the pocket during daylight and pulled out when the light fades. 

    A Pedestrian Reflector Saves Lives!

Excerpts from Playtime Seychelles road safety project.
You can read more about the project in earlier blogs, Label Be Visible Be Safe!


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The importance of mother tongue!

The mother tongue is the language you learn first, the language you use most and the language you have the best command over.


The mother tongue is the language with which you identify yourself.

The first contact with the mother tongue starts from birth with parents and close relatives; this is called the mother tongue learning process.

The specific ability of children to learn their mother tongue is programmed into their brains in the same way as children are programmed to learn to walk.

A child’s language develops in interaction with others. Therefore it is important that parents and close relatives stimulate the child’s language development by talking, narrating, reading and singing.

Story books and reading aloud to  children already in early age are important componentsto help children to conquer their own mother tongue.

Children who have a rich vocabulary in their own mother tongue when they start school have easier to learn the language in school and they learn to read and write earlier.

Children also learn a second language better if they have a high level of competence in their own mother tongue.  

Researches have shown that it is easier to learn a new language if you have good knowledge of your own mother tongue. The languages can act as a support for each other.

Language is one of the most important factors with regard to cultural affiliation and identity.

Based on the importance of the mother tongue and that very few story books are produced in Seychelles in the children’s own mother tongue Creole we decided to write and publish story books for children in Creole.

Writing and publishing story books for small children is a part of our project “Give your child a language!”

You can read more about the project in earlier blogs,  label Give your child a language.”

Our stories take place in Seychellesin the children’s own environment, it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize and identify themselves with the characters in the story books. 
Here is some of the books we written and published in Seychelles. Translated to English.

The Spider Prince

The Spider Prince lives on a small island in the Indian Ocean. He built his spider net in a Takamaka Tree on the Beau Vallon Beach. The Spider Prince fell in love with a spider princess that also lived in the tree, but her father, The Spider King do not let them see each other.
ISBN 978-9993194392 

Let’s plant!

Jojo and Yxkull are gardening with their friends. They will teach us about plants, about what tools you need when you are planting and what makes a seed grow.

ISBN 978-9993194408

The little rabbit

This little story can be affiliated to especially article 6 in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and can be used as a discussion with the children about their rights. What do small children believe they need and what makes them feel good happy and safe? Who do they believe is responsible
 that children, get what they need?

ISBN 978-9993194330 


Save Mango!

Mitzi, Yxkull and Jojo lives in Seychelles on the main island Mahe.  We will follow them on an adventure when they save a giant tortoise.
ISBN  978-9993194422
Exerpts from Sov Mango! translated to English

Visit if you want to read Save Mango! online.
The project is based on our publications “The Importance of the Mother Tongue for Children´s Education and Intellectual Development” and “The Importance of reading aloud for children for their language development.”
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Balloons – festive but dangerous!

Children love to play with balloons and balloons are very common on birthday and on other festive parties involving children.

But latex balloons are associated with choking and suffocation hazard and can be dangerous for children under 8 years old to play with.

Balloons cause more choking deaths in children than any other non-food related product.

Never give balloons to children younger than 8 years old. A child who is blowing up or chewing on balloon can choke by inhaling the balloon.

Children under the age of 4 are especially exposed to choking injuries because they put things in their mouths. Children unde 4 years have narrow windpipes that easily can get blocked by a defleted balloon or of a piece of a balloon.

The fragments from a popped balloon are a choking hazard if the child chew or suck the rubber into their mouths to make bubbles.

Deflated balloons are also a choking hazard and it is recommended out of safety that adults inflates balloons.

Even a string that is longer than 22 cmand attached to a balloon, can be a strangulation hazard!  There is a risk that the child get the string around her/his neck and get strangled.

Ensure that the string is shorter than 22cm!

If you want to use balloons, use big Mylar balloons instead, children cannot accidentally inhale a big piece of Mylar and when a Mylar balloon burst they don’t generally creates small fragments.

Don’t let children inhale Helium from balloons! The danger occurs when the helium is inhaled into a child’s lungs thereby depriving them of oxygen supply. If the child mostly breathe helium, it can suffocate the child.


                     Always supervise children when there are balloons around!


























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Lekia did it again!

Playtime Seychelles has since Christmas 2014 been giving Christmas gifts to children that maybe never got a Christmas Gift.
This program started by a coincident in November 2014 when a fantastic German gentleman, living in Seychelles, asked me if Playtime wanted to give the children toys as Christmas gifts. He had bought a big amount of toys in Germany. 


We accepted his offer with great gratitude!
Next step was to find the children who should be the recipients of the toys, children in most need to get a Christmas Gift. Fortunately one of Playtime Seychelles committee members are a social worker and she immediately started to contact her colleagues in the other of Seychelles Community districts. We soon got lists with names and ages of children from the different districts.
We bought a lot of beautiful wrapping papers, ribbons and bows and started to wrap the toys. 
We also printed gift cards and we wrote each child’s name on the card. We wanted each child to feel  this was a gift specially chosen for him/her.
Every child should be entitled to a little playtime at least on Christmas Eve!
Noreen social worker and member of Playtime Seychelles committee picks up Christmas Gifts for different distrtict on Mahe, 2015
We packed the gifts into boxes to the districts and some of the social workers arranged Christmas parties for the children in their district.
Playtime also participated in these parties and I and my colleague Michelle could give the children their Christmas Gifts in person.
We also visited the Orphanages and gave each child a Christmas gift and wished them a Merry Christmas.  
We saw the big smiles on the children’s faces when they got the gifts and how happy they were and decided to make this into a habit every Christmas. This was the start up for Playtime Seychelles Christmas Gift Program for children in Seychelles.
Next year we were sending donations letters to toy manufacturers and retailers.
We wrote a lot of letters where we appealed for toys for Christmas gifts to children that maybe never got a Christmas gift or not even own a toy of their own.
Richard Richardson from a toy company, Lekia Sweden answered our appeal immediately.
He said, yes we can donate toys to Seychelles children, and he asked how many children do you have and in what ages, that are in a need toys?
We realized that Playtime Seychelles was fortunate to get in contact with a person and a company that have a big and generous heart.
We got two big boxes full of fantastic toys that we picked up on Seychelles airport and we were excited like children on Christmas Eve when we unpacked them.
Lekia have been the donor of toys to our Christmas Gift program 2015, 2016 and they have done it again!


Lekia Sweden is also the toy donor to Seychelles children 2017!

Nowadays we give gifts to many different places. We give to Crèches, Primary Schools, Christmas parties, to the church, Social Affairs, Children’s Ward at Seychelles Hospital.
Seychelles Hospital Children’s Ward 2015
                                                                     Sister Alice 2016
This program and Lekia’s donations have attracted a lot of attention in Seychelles and have been nominated as one of the Minister of Tourism and Culture high lights of the year, two years in a row.
The program has been very appreciated in Seychelles, but probably most appreciated by the children. How exiting isn´t it to get a gift from Sweden, a country so far away from Seychelles and gifts that are specially chosen only for them. It is important for children to feel special and chosen sometimes and at least once a year!
We will do updates on this blog about this year’s Christmas gifts and how it proceeds.
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Bikers should always wear a helmet!

As doctors say, “we can fix arms and legs – we can’t fix head and neck”. 

Bicycle helmets reduces the risk that children will get head injuries from accidents related to falls from riding a bike. Wearing a bicycle helmet prevents bicycle related deaths in children by 75%.


Less than 20% of reported bicycle injuries involve collisions with cars. Most injuries occur in falls, or as a result of the rider loses control. A bad fall can be the result of a skid, a wheel get catched in a crack or even getting a shoelace caught in the chain.
It is usually the foreheadthat hits the ground first. Head injuries are one the most common of bicycle-related accidents and can result in serious injury such as disability, brain damage and in the worst case scenario death.
Helmets are the most important protective gear for bikers. Helmets should fit appropriately and the straps should be fastened.
A helmet should be worn squarely on top of the head, cover the forehead, the back of the head and the crown.
 If it is tipped back, it will not protect the forehead. The helmet fits well if it doesn’t move around on the head or slide down over the eyes when pushed or pulled. The chin strap should be adjusted to fit snugly.
A badly fitting helmet can cause serious harm. 
The essential part of the helmet for impact protection is a thick layer of firm polystyrene, a plastic foam, which crushes on impact and absorbs the force of the blow. 
A helmet that has been through a serious fall or crash shall be retired with gratitude. It has served its purpose and maybe not provide adequate protection in another crash. Impacts crush some of the foam and the helmet is less protective even if the damage of the helmet isn’t visible to the eye. If you are uncertain whether the helmet is still usable, throw it away.
Playgrounds and bicycle helmets are not a good combination!
There is a “hidden hazard” of strangulation if a child wears a helmet while playing on playground equipment.
There have been cases of young children suffering death or severe brain damage as a result of being hanged by the straps of their bicycle helmets when they have been playing on a playground.

 Be sure to teach children to remove their helmets before using playground equipment or climbing trees!

CE the European Seal of Approval and it is only awarded for safe helmets.                 A CE testing typically includes tests for:
  •        shock absorption
  •         penetration
  •         retention systems (chin strap and buckle)

 The marking should be CE EN 1078 (for children over age 7 and adults) or             EN 1080 (helmet for young children with a green buckle); that way you know   that it is a hel­met designed for cycling.
EN 1080 is a derived standard designed to address problems associated with the strangulation of children playing while wearing helmets.
En1080 is a helmet for children up to seven years old and it provides the same level of protection as an ordinary bicycle helmet, but the green buckle has an additional feature causing it to release under a defined load. The buckle will          re­lease if the child gets caught in a climbing frame or similar, to help prevent choking accidents.
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Protect your precious passenger!

Never leave a child unattended in a car.


 The child can suffer from a heat stroke!
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Heads an arms inside the car always!
Don’t let a child hang out his arm from a car window! The child can get deep rashes or cuts by bushes on the roadside. Break a bone, if a tree or anything else hits the child’s hand or arm even get the arm crushed from a meeting or overtaking car.
Don’t let a child hang out his head from a car window! 
The child can get severe head injuries that can lead to brain damage, disability or in the worst case scenario death by getting hit by a meeting or overtaking car. Also things standing on or near the roadside are an immediate danger.
Children can get hurt by the power windows.
A child can get injured when a window closes on the finger, wrist or hand even get strangled.
If a child hangs out his head from the car window and the child’s knee or hand accidently trigger the power window switch, the child can get strangled when the window closes around the neck of the child. It takes only ten kilo of force to break the trachea of a small child, but many power windows close with a force of thirteen to thirty-six kilos of force.


The Safest Way! 
The safest way for a child to ride in the car is to be restrained in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts!


Safety car seats reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries 



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