HumanRights Children's festival

19 March 2022 - 20 March 2022 

Families can celebrate children's rights through
playful learning at Human Rights Festival

Building awareness of the Constitution through play

Free admission to the 2022 Human Rights Festival Children’s
Festival event at Constitution Hill


Johannesburg (15 March 2022) - Families with children ages 12 and under are invited to make children’s rights come alive through play at a special parent-child play area at the Human Rights Festival at Constitution Hill on Saturday and Sunday, 19 and 20 March.

The special area celebrating children’s rights and active citizenship offer free access to a range of Play Africa’s original playful learning activities that families can enjoy together. The playful experiences are designed to nurture in children and parents a shared sense of belonging, and affirm the values of the Constitution. For South Africa’s democracy to thrive in future generations, children need to learn to live, play, learn and work alongside one another with tolerance and peace.

From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, parents can spend quality time with their children trying out a variety of activities, including:

  • My Constitution: Adults can learn more about how to use play to empower their children with greater awareness of South Africa's Constitution, children’s rights, girls’ rights, and how to participate in a thriving democracy.

  • Children’s Court: Parents and children can role play in a child-scale courtroom. Imagine new career paths in South Africa’s judicial system by taking turns at playing different roles -- from judge to court officer - that promote the value of Constitution and the rule of law.

  • Voting Booths: Get a chance to vote for your favourite colour of the South African flag in Play Africa’s child-scale voting booths. 

  • Bridges of Peace: Parents can connect with one another through a range of activities that promote ubuntu and social inclusion through hands-on exhibits that promote empathy. 

  • Imagination Playground: Parents and children can let their imaginations run wild and build fun structures with lightweight, big blue blocks. 

  • STEM Seeds: Parents can learn how to support young children's development of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) skills with low-cost, everyday materials.

  • Farm to Market: Parents can introduce their children to South Africa's rich agricultural heritage by playfully “farming” and taking produce to market, supporting awareness of whole foods, nutrition and food security.

  • Magnet Ball Wall: Parents and children can experiment, test and learn through play with a multi-sensory exhibit that teaches children about gravity and physical science. 

Parents have the opportunity to make happy memories with their children through playful exploration. For child safety and child protection reasons, parents and guardians must supervise their children at all times. No drop-off of children will be allowed, and no childminding will be provided.

The Human Rights Festival symbolically commemorates Human Rights Day, which honours those who lost their lives in the fight for democracy, particularly during the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960. On that day, police opened fire on a group of peaceful protestors marching against the apartheid pass laws, killing 69 protestors and injuring 180 people more.

My Constitution is a project of Play Africa, Southern Africa’s pioneering children’s museum that is based at the iconic Constitution Hill. Play Africa was just named a finalist for Best Rising NGO in South Africa in the inaugural CSI Legacy Awards, a showcase of leading NGOs adjudicated by CSRNews. Play Africa’s active citizenship programmes promote South Africa’s Constitution and democracy for a new generation. 


“Children of today were not alive to remember the struggle for democracy, nor the signing of the Constitution, so we must make the Constitution and what it means come alive for a new generation,” said Play Africa founder and CEO, Gretchen Wilson-Prangley. “Democracy only works when people understand what it is, and why it is so important. So we use play to teach learners from a young age about the Constitution, their rights, and how to participate in a democratic society.”


The development of Play Africa’s active citizenship programmes began in 2018, when Play Africa’s began offering programmes at Constitution Hill and in communities that used facilitator-led dialogue sessions and role play to introduce children to the ways people can make their voice heard in a democratic society. The activities include making one’s voice heard in a courtroom setting, learning to vote in an election, and making signs to affirm their rights in a peaceful demonstration. Since then, Play Africa has led more than 120 of these 2-3 hour workshops with more than 3,000 children.

About Play Africa

Play Africa is a pioneering “children's museum” based at the iconic Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa, a former prison complex that is now the seat of South Africa’s Constitutional Court. Play Africa operates in the courtyards just 15 metres from the cell where former President Nelson Mandela was once incarcerated. As a cultural institution, its exhibits and programmes are designed to stimulate imagination, experimentation, innovation and problem-solving in children, as well as their families and educators. Play Africa Group is a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. It is a registered South African non-profit company (#2014/101533/08), and a registered public benefit organisation (#930048005) with Section 18A tax-exempt status. It is an independent children’s museum supported by Rand Merchant Bank, Constitution Hill and others. More info:

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Court: Making one’s voice heard in a courtroom setting

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Children vote at child-size election booths

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Imagination Playground

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A child acts as a lawyer to affirm girls’ rights

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Voting in an election booth

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Imagination Playground

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Preparing to vote

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Freedom of Expression

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Farm to Market