Outdoor Play Environments

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, public health authorities across the country have recommended that Canadians keep their distance, wash their hands, and stay home. To enforce these measures early in the pandemic, restrictions on outdoor behaviour were implemented, limiting access to parks, playgrounds, conservation areas and recreational outdoor spaces. Counterbalancing efforts to create more...

OTTAWA, 29 July 2020—The Healthy Transportation Coalition is asking that any federal stimulus money be invested in healthy transportation projects and affordable housing, and not in road projects to increase car capacity. In a letter to Ottawa City Council, the Ottawa Board of Health, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities of...

On July 16th, 2020, Outdoor Play Canada Project Manager Dr. Louise de Lannoy spoke with CBC Ottawa regarding the reopening of outdoor playgrounds in Ontario. "When children are outdoors and when they’re playing, it gives them a sense of agency, a sense of control. It’s also important in times of stress and adversity to help them...

Thank you to Louise Zimanyi and Olga Rossovska, Professors of Early Childhood Education at  Humber College, for providing this post. Two 150-year old crack willow trees surrounded by 250 acres of Carolinian forest, one of Canada’s most biologically diverse ecosystems, are the heart of The Willows forest nature program for children at the Child Development Centre...

In an article for the Ryerson City Building Institute, Ryerson Associate Professor, urban planner, and Outdoor Play Canada Leadership Team Member, Dr. Raktim Mitra describes the findings of his latest research on the importance of access to safe and welcoming outdoor space and maintaining healthy movement behaviours among Canadian kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a...

Press Release: Summer homework – get kids outside and recalibrate healthy lifestyles A national survey commissioned by ParticipACTION shows evidence of collateral damage to the lifestyles of Canadian children and youth consequent to public health restrictions imposed to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricted access to playgrounds, schools, childcare, playdates, and instructions to “stay home” have...

In a recent article for The Conversation, Negin Riazi, PhD Candidate, and Guy Faulkner, Professor, in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, discuss the importance of independent mobility for children's mental and physical health and development, the impact of COVID-19 on children's ability to get outdoors freely, as well as the...

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...