Skip to navigationSkip to content


Our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

Reuters/Mohammad Ismail
Children play on a carnival ride during Eid al-Fitr Holiday in Kabul July 31, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Photos: Kids in war-torn Afghanistan still know how to play

Play is vital to a child’s development. Not only does it help with school and social skills, play also teaches counterfactual thinking, or what psychologist Alison Gopnik described for the Smithsonian as “thinking about different possibilities.”

In war-torn Afghanistan, then, it’s particularly heartening to see Kabul’s children play on makeshift merry-go-rounds, swings, and carousels. Afghan officials recently banned the sale of toy guns, after more than 100 people were injured playing with them during the recent Eid-al-Fitr holiday in Afghanistan.

Reuters/Omar Sobhani
Reuters/Omar Sobhani
Afghan children sit on a wooden merry-go-round.
Rueters/Ahmad Masood
An Afghan boy plays on a merry-go-round.
Reuters/Omar Sobhani
Afghan children play on a swing.
Reuters/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan boys play on swings outside a closed shop.
Reuters/Marko Djurica
A boy plays at a playground.
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
Girls play on a swing in Baghe Zanana park and shopping area for women and children only.
Reuters/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan children enjoy a ride.
Reuters/Umit Bektas
Children play on a ride on the second day of Eid al-Adha.
Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.