by RICHARD DICKSON, president and chief operating officer, Mattel

This is an extraordinary time, marked by new rules, strange routines, and plenty of boundaries. A cultural moment that feels, by necessity, culturally empty. Around the world, and at every age, people are united in feeling isolated, restless, and out of sorts.

That’s why play is so important right now.

Mattel: Play is Never CanceledWhether you’re playing peek-a-boo or building a pillow fort, play is a powerful force that comes in many forms to exercise the mind, body, and spirit and keep us engaged.

In the best of times, play encourages us to be curious. It helps us develop and hone important skills, from social to analytical. And, right now, play can be even more valuable, helping families and caregivers navigate tough times by offering reasons to smile and bringing moments of joy to lives young and old. Everybody can play and it’s important that we all do.

Begin with simple steps. Make time throughout the day, every day, to play. Build new games and challenges around favorite toys and activities. Create new ways to interact as a family and new routines everyone will want to keep.

At Mattel, we champion the power of play because we know it can make the world a better place. To help you harness the incredible power of play, we are introducing an all-new online resource for parents and caregivers called the Mattel Playroom.

Stay connected, keep laughing and #KeepPlaying.