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.

A crisis in childhood is happening every day, all around us

Posted by Joel Barnes on February 5, 2019

The Children’s Play Policy Forum has today issued a policy statement identifying a crisis in childhood and calling for more children’s play opportunities. The cancellation of public liability insurance for children’s playgrounds comes at a time when new research is encouraging less screen time and more outdoor play. The Children’s Play Policy Forum is made up...

Power of Play – Watch NOW!

Posted by Megan Forse on January 31, 2019

The Power of Play documentary is now out! Watch unusual inter-species animals play and communicate, as top play scientists examine the root and importance of play among humans and animals.  ...

Canadian Parks Conference set to take place October 2019!

Posted by Megan Forse on January 23, 2019

Save the date! The 2019 Canadian Parks Conference is set to take place in Quebec City on October 7 to 10.   Join over 400 Canadian and international professionals and partners from all sectors of society who plan to meet and make positive change to support healthy nature and healthy people, for our generation and the one to come. The conference is focused on expanding Canada’s collective awareness, understanding and appreciation of the importance and value of parks and plans to address collaboration, connecting to nature, conservation, and leadership. In addition, the conference is an opportunity...

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”...