Disney says that it was inspired by its stories and characters for the campaign.

According to the brand, 'The Gift of Play' provides inspirational yet informative guidance, through a series of activities and products, to demonstrate how creativity, inventiveness and togetherness can help to reignite imagination.

Disney has brought together The Institute of Imagination, parenting experts and theatrical stage-masters to launch 'The Gift of Play' campaign. The initiative will be hosted on a dedicated website, which individuals can see here.  

To help re-ignite the imagination, the website hosts a range of free-to-view videos, including easy-to-follow how-tos and resources devoted to families enjoying more imaginative play time together, including The Gift of Play guide.

The free 22-page handbook — which includes a series of Disney Princess and Frozen-themed play-starter scenarios — has been created to inspire adults and children to use their own surroundings and Disney stories to stimulate imagination, creativity — and most of all, have fun playing.

'The Gift of Play' was developed following recent research conducted by Disney, which polled over 5 000 adults across the United Kingdom and Europe all with children under the age of 12, with a focus on discovering thoughts and behaviours around playtime.

The results show that while eight in 10 parents admit their children are happier when they play all together, almost half (48%) say they feel uninspired and lost when it came to planning ways to play, and one in two struggle to find the resources that could help them.

The study also reveals that 80% of respondents recognise the importance of play for a child's development. However nearly half (45%) say that family life is too busy, and 40% of those feel they don't have the time to join in when it comes to shared playtime.

In the South African context, local studies in recent years highlight the importance of play relating to South Africa.

Durban-based registered psychological counsellor Zakkiya Suleman says, "From a South African educational standpoint, we see learning through play as an important facet of a child's life. There are policies framing South African early education, play and play-based approaches, which are deemed part of quality practices."

Suleman adds that from day one, children are eager and determined to understand how the world works and they do this through play.

"They are using all the 'tools' they have at their disposal. Play is not only fun, but it's one of the most important ways you can nurture their development. There are no rules when it comes to playing and while it's also fun, it's important to young children's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. Through play children learn problem-solving, interpersonal skills, communication and other skills integral to success in school and life," Suleman adds.

Luke Roberts, general manager of consumer products, games and publishing at The Walt Disney Company Africa, says, "There is nothing more special than a bond between parent and child and at Disney, we know that those bonds need nurturing."

Roberts concludes, "Shared play can be both an exciting and enriching exercise and Disney is offering support to parents and caregivers to unlock their imaginations and find inspiration in our guide and with our products to engage with children and create a fun, learning environment for them."

A short piece of live-action content, which demonstrates how adults can use Disney's 'The Gift of Play' to engage with their children and have more fun together, can be viewed here.

The campaign will be supported by various snippets of shared imaginative play content, syndicated on the Disney Family social media channels across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For more information, visit www.disneymagicmoments.co.za. You can follow Disney on Facebook or Instagram.