Policy

This piece was a collaborative effort by UK professors from Sussex, Cambridge and Reading Universities, intended for general distribution.  As experts in children’s mental health and development, we urge that children’s social and emotional wellbeing be prioritised in all decisions relating to the easing of lockdown and re-opening of schools. We recognise the vital importance of...

In a recent piece published in The Conversation, Christine Alden, doctoral candidate at The University of Toronto, and Program Director for early child development and Outdoor Play Strategy with The Lawson Foundation, outlines the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions on children's access to outdoor play. She highlights that access to outdoor play is varied, especially in...

In Andre Picard's latest opinion piece in the Globe and Mail, the health columnist suggests a new mantra be adopted as reopening measures are put in place across Canada: 'Go outside, but do not congregate'. He suggests that part of easing restrictions on outdoor activity should include creating more space, i.e. closing streets to allow for...

In her daily news briefing on April 29, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's provincial health officer, re-iterated what she has been saying throughout the COVID-19 outbreak: enjoy BC's outdoor spaces, safely, and with immediate family members. Dr. Henry highlighted the observation that transmission of the virus by briefly passing by someone who sneezes or coughs...

Many have struggled to access the outdoors, parks, and nature as a result of physical distancing regulations instituted across the country in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak. Though most Provincial and National parks have reopened, services are limited. At the municipal level, restrictions are being lifted on parks but certain elements, such as play structures...

Thank you to Alexander Wray, H.BES, MA-Candidate (Western University, Canada) for providing this post and photo.   Canadian children and youth over the past decade have reported lower levels of physical activity than previous generations and are reporting a worrying decline in their overall mental wellbeing. These populations report spending less time outside than ever before, which...

March 16, 2020 10am Eastern/7am Pacific   On Saturday, March 14th, BC's provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke to the public on ways to stay healthy while engaging in safe social distancing practices. In her announcement, she highlighted the observation that viruses do not transmit as readily outdoors. So, she suggests, 'go outside and play with your...

On November 20th of last year, Outdoor Play Canada published an article titled, "If In Doubt, Let Them Out – A Child’s Right to Play," marking the 30th anniversary of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In mid-December, this article was published in The Conversation. Click here to read the article in The Conversation.   ...

New research from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Health Measures Survey reaffirmed the dramatic decline in Canadian children’s fitness seen over the past 35 years with only a third of Canadian school-aged children meeting physical activity guidelines. Other research from the same survey showed that physical activity increases when children are outdoors, with each additional hour spent...

Make sure your voice is heard. Ontario Parks is halfway through the Healthy Parks Healthy People consultation period. The time to submit your feedback on nature and health is now! We know nature is a valuable tool for producing positive health outcomes. Ontario Parks is ready to take action, but they need your help first. They...

Check out the new documentary “Running Free: Children’s Independent Mobility”! Told through the eyes of 3 families, this 26-minute documentary explores the concept of children’s independent mobility, the benefits for children’s mental health, and challenges viewers to consider solutions to this issue. Watch it here: [vc_video link='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKOXfa8NfTY&feature=youtu.be']...

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Ottawa, September 27, 2019 – Outdoor Play Canada was launched today at the Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Play Summit in Ottawa – an open-air conference where outdoor play thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers gathered to exchange knowledge and best practices for promoting outdoor play. Outdoor Play Canada has a vision that outdoor play is...

Are you looking for a Breath of Fresh Air? The first national Outdoor Play Summit is only 50 days away! Join us September 27-29th, 2019 for a national forum on outdoor play, taking place in an open-air environment, located at the Ottawa Forest and Nature Schools and Wesley Clover Park’s Campground, where thought leaders, practitioners, researchers and...