News

Through knowledge mobilization, we want to connect and align efforts by sharing resources, tools, training, research and stories. Browse through the latest news items related to outdoor play.

Why YOU should #FreeYourPlay

Posted by Megan Forse on January 16, 2019

“In a recent survey, Kamik found that nowadays, children participate in over 5-6 structured activities per week. Hence, there is hardly ever any time left to play freely, outside. In fact, children spend 30-35% less time playing outside than their parents did.” Structured activities, such as soccer practice, swim lessons and dance class can be a great way to spend time, but it is important to make sure structured activities are not getting in the way...

The Power of Play: releasing January 20th

Posted by Megan Forse on January 8, 2019

On January 20th, 2019 at 8pm, The Nature of Things will be releasing a documentary called The Power of Play. In addition to talking about the importance of play in children, the documentary touches on play in mammals, amphibians, reptiles and even insects! We know humans and pets love to play, but it is interesting to watch some unusual animals, such as the giant Pacific octopus, exhibit playful behaviours.  Watch a short clip ...

Study: greater time spent outside is associated with a healthier dietary pattern

Posted by Joel Barnes on January 3, 2019

There are many evidence-based benefits of outdoor play in children and youth including increased energy expenditure, the development of motor skills, improved social relationshiops (e.g., ability to develop and sustain friendships) and emotional well-being (e.g., increased happiness). Very little is known, however, about the relationship between outdoor play and eating habits. A recently published study in the Journal of Public Health titled, “Outdoor time and dietary patterns in children around the...

North Battleford’s Natural Playground

Posted by Stephanie Carson on January 2, 2019

Playgrounds with plastic slides, rubber ‘doodads’ and metal monkey bars seem to be the norm these days, but not for North Battleford, Saskatchewan. In September 2018, they opened a natural playground in Centennial Park made from boulders, tree trunks and a teepee made by local elders. This playground was built by Battleford’s Early Childhood Intervention Program to encourage children to connect with nature and experience nature within city limits. This natural playground is intended to...

Denmark is Letting Kids Do What They Love- Play “Dangerously”

Posted by Stephanie Carson on January 2, 2019

  The article by Jennifer Anderson titled “Why the Danes encourage their kids to swing axes, play with fire, and ride bikes in traffic” illustrates how Denmark is setting the stage for what early childhood education and childcare should look like by creating playgrounds and schoolyards that encourage free and risk play using natural elements. This...

Green Street Challenge: something to look for next summer!

Posted by Megan Forse on December 11, 2018

To educate communities about the importance of spending time outdoors, Come Alive Outside , together with Landscape Ontario, has found a way to create green space where kids (and adults!) can get creative, outside. On specific days during the summer months, sod is laid down on segments of streets in Ontario communities, creating a temporary outdoor space for children to play, innovate and benefit from green space! The Green Street Challenge has expanded to include...

Environment Research publishes a systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes

Posted by Megan Forse on December 4, 2018

The article titled The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systemic review and meta-analysis of greenspce exposure and health outcomes, was published by Caiomhe Twohig-Bennett and Andy Jones in Environmental Research with the objective of quantifying evidence for the impact of green spaces on a range of health outcomes. Prior to this publication,  no systematic review had attempted to determine the impact of greenspace on such a wide range of health outcomes. What is “greenspace”...

An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community

Posted by Megan Forse on November 28, 2018

How do you use parks? Why are they important to you? Parks for All is a collaborated effort led by Canadian Parks Council and Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and encourages individuals to recognize how we all benefit from access to healthy parks, green space and natural areas. Our mutual connection with nature in turn connects all humans. The...

Calgary Play Charter Collective Impact 2018

Posted by Stephanie Carson on November 22, 2018

PLAY LOOKS LIKE.     PLAY SOUNDS LIKE.       PLAY FEELS LIKE. Collective Impact has been lauded as a way to demonstrate how many organizations focused on common outcomes can  make big differences. In 2017 the City of Calgary and 36 organizations came together to create a play charter. Calgary’s Play Charter is intended to be a unifying document outlining why...

Risk, fear and excitement: why kids NEED it.

Posted by Megan Forse on November 21, 2018

Mariana Brussoni, an injury prevention researcher and developmental psychologist at the University of British Columbia is concerned we are keeping our kids too safe. Children require the mental and physical space to figure out appropriate risk levels for themselves, writes Dr. Brussoni in an article titled Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play. It is important to balance keeping kids safe, with providing them with the opportunity to explore, engage in...