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.

Alberta Recreation & Parks Association: Release of Play Charter Guides

Posted by Sophie Rodenburg on July 10, 2019

The Alberta Recreation and Parks Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to building healthier, happier communities and citizens by developing and promoting recreation and parks. On Monday they released their Play Charter Guides. These ‘how to’ guides are intended to help municipalities and organizations improve play in their communities. They are based on the experiences of the city of Calgary who, since 2016, facilitated the creation, signing, and ongoing appraisal of the...

Stay in or play out: how much does the weather influence physical activity in school children?

Posted by Sophie Rodenburg on July 5, 2019

Have you ever wondered how much daily weather conditions can actually impact physical activity levels in children and on which days of the week the impact is more prominent? To date, there is strong evidence that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is associated with many health benefits in childhood. In Canada, insufficient physical activity in children remains a major public health concern. Recent studies from various regions indicate that weather conditions can play a role in determining...

Summer of PLEY Series – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted by Sophie Rodenburg on June 27, 2019

Play Outside NS shares a common goal of promoting, facilitating and communicating the importance of outdoor play in the early years, to foster health and well-being. Join them this July and August for a series of knowledge sharing events with “Summer to PLEY” (Physical Literacy in the Early Years). The series is funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (Research NS) and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. This summer they are welcoming Dr. Mariana Brussoni,...

Study: Is your home yard influencing your child’s outdoor play?

Posted by Sophie Rodenburg on June 21, 2019

These days the primary goal of most home buyers is to maximize the size of their home, even if it sacrifices outdoor yard space. But how does this affect our children’s outdoor play? A recent Australian study published in Public Health Research & Practice, titled “Associations between the home yard and preschoolers’ outdoor play and physical activity,” discusses the relationship between home yard layout and children’s outdoor play. The study sampled over 1500 toddlers and...

Set your calendar – Free day-use at all Ontario parks on July 19, 2019!

Posted by Sophie Rodenburg on June 14, 2019

Ontario Parks recognizes the importance of connecting to nature and the positive effects it has on our well-being. As a part of the ‘Healthy Parks Healthy People’ campaign, visit your nearest Ontario park on July 19th, 2019 to join the celebration and enjoy free all-day access! There is so much to discover, with over 330 parks available throughout Ontario – use the park locator to find one close to you! Parks will be running various...

Inclusion of Outdoor Play in the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development

Posted by Joel Barnes on May 24, 2019

Guest post by Katie MacAskill Outdoor play is increasingly recognized as a foundation for children’s healthy social, cognitive, emotional and physical development. As such, outdoor play has now been added to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, where experts weigh in on 9 outdoor play related topics from play-based learning to designing cities to support outdoor play. The chapter recognizes the collective role of parents, educators, policy-makers and communities in supporting outdoor play, and...

Lawson Foundation releases discussion paper on ‘Advancing Outdoor Play and Early Childhood Education’

Posted by Joel Barnes on May 23, 2019

Guest post by Sophie Rodenburg The Lawson Foundation is a National family foundation which focuses their work around the healthy development of children and youth. One of their major goals is to support children’s access and opportunity to connect and play in nature. In October 2018, the Lawson Foundation brought together 125 experts and leaders from various sectors at the Outdoor Play and Early Learning Policy Research Symposium in King City, Ontario. They cultivated...

Outdoor Classroom Day is today – May 23rd, 2019!

Posted by Joel Barnes on May 23, 2019

Guest post by Sophie Rodenburg What is Outdoor Classroom day? Outdoor Classroom day is a global campaign to inspire outdoor learning and play. On this day last year, hundreds of schools and over 3.5 million children joined together to bring awareness to the importance and benefits of bringing the classroom and playtime outside. These benefits include improving children’s overall health and wellbeing, as well as teaching critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity. If you missed...

Earth Day 2019 is April 22!

Posted by Megan Forse on April 17, 2019

“Step Outside, Get Dirty, Connect to Nature” Earth Day Canada is working to help people spend quality time connecting with the outdoors, encouraging everyone to spend time outdoors every day to support health, happiness, and the planet.  Here are a few of the things happening this Earth Month!  #FreeYourPlay  Take a photo and share how you #FreeYourPlay with @Kamik and @EarthDayCanada to win a brand new pair of children’s sneakers!  #FreeYourPlay is an initiative encouraging people to experience...

Schoolyards Count!

Posted by Joel Barnes on April 12, 2019

During the school week, children and youth spend half their waking hours at school. Schools share the responsibility for making sure students get outside and get active during those times. Alongside instruction and programs, the built and natural environment of the school makes a difference for students’ health. Schoolyards Count! is a citizen-science project.  A researcher at Wilfrid Laurier, and Ophea, Ontario’s healthy schools organization are asking people in school...