Three ways toys are making a difference across the world

Jan 18, 2024
From Canada to Lebanon, we’re helping children experience the joy of play through the delivery of new toys. We all have childhood memories of playing with our favourite toys, from dolls to soccer balls to stuffed animals. Maybe it was also a special treat to walk through the toy section of the local department store, browsing and wishing for your next toy.

Alongside creating sweet childhood memories, toys make a difference in children’s lives in big ways. Here are three major ways toys have made a positive impact in local communities, thanks to special gifts from leading children’s entertainment company Spin Master’s Toy Movement and Child-Friendly Spaces initiatives!

Playing chess in Lebanon

Over the past few years, Lebanon has been facing a major deteriorating economic crisis. With families struggling to provide basic needs, many households and caregivers experienced a big decline in disposable income.

For schools and early childhood education centres in Mount Lebanon and Beirut, the gift of toys has been an unexpected blessing for educators in a season of financial challenges.

Aside from providing entertainment for children, educators in the region emphasized that toys support hands-on learning for children, being used as tools for school curriculum.

Groups of young boys sit at a long table playing chess.Toys and games encouraged community and play for children in Lebanon, like these young chess enthusiasts. Photo: World Vision Lebanon

“Toys don’t only entertain—they also build minds, instill goals.” Abed, one education centre director, said.
Chess sets became a big conduit for community and learning for children and youth.

At eight years old, Mohammad was already a chess champion in his region, and he was delighted to find chess sets as part of World Vision in partnership with Spin Master’s in-kind donation to his school. He started a new chess club at his school where he got to share his passion for the game with his classmates.

Similarly, another young chess enthusiast Yehya, 12, also got to teach and practice chess with his classmates. Thanks to more practice, Yehya was able to eventually participate in a national championship and rank among the winners!

Both Mohammad and Yehya developed newfound self-confidence and leadership skills, all thanks to the simple game of chess.

Supplying Child-Friendly Spaces in Haiti

A safe place to rest, learn and play was a deep need for Haitian families recovering from 2021’s devastating earthquake and enduring rising political unrest over the past few years.

With new educational materials and toys, World Vision Haiti was able to set up 15 Child-Friendly Spaces, where children can participate in recreational and educational activities. The team trained 35 volunteers from their respective communities to manage the spaces. Toys were a key part of creating these safe, playful environments for children to just be children!

A volunteer hands a box of toys to a child from a table filled with games and toys in front of her.A volunteer at a Child-Friendly Space in Baraderes, Haiti hands out a toy set to a child. Around 300 children received new toys! Photo: World Vision Haiti

Hand in hand with these vital spaces, World Vision Haiti also gave education and training on violence against children to 7,350 parents, supporting them in creating safety for their children at home.
All children have the right to play without fear, and Child-Friendly Spaces well-equipped with toys were a core part of making that happen for children in Haiti.

Increasing school attendance in Malawi

In Malawi, toys became a big reason why children returned to school. Early childhood education centre in the region received toy donations to benefit 2,906 children and families.

Christopher, a caregiver at Chigodi Community Based Care Centre, said the new toys drew higher numbers of children to his centre. When word of the new toys spread in his community, enrolment at the centre increased from 65 to 118.

Three Malawian children sit together in a classroom, playing with Jenga blocks.These young Malawian children built everything from towers to new toys with their new play blocks. Photo: World Vision Malawi

Whether building little towns with new play blocks, drawing animals with Etch-A-Sketch or solving a Rubik’s Cube, these toys are playing an important role in young Malawian children’s learning and development.

World Vision is grateful for Spin Master’s generous donation of new toys for children all over the world—a gift as simple as a toy can go a long way in giving children in vulnerable communities the opportunity to learn, grow and explore through play!

Learn more about how to bring toys to children across the world