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.

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...

The Great Trail | A New Campaign

Posted by Megan Forse on April 10, 2019

The Great Trail, now consisting of more than 24,000 kilometres of multi-use trails, has launched a new campaign; Deeply Connected which will highlight the connection every Canadian has with the The Great Trail while showcasing the ways the Trail benefits our health, our economy and our diverse cultures.  OUR MISSION: We will promote and assist in the development and use of The Great Trail – created by Trans Canada Trail and our partners – by...

Save the Date: BREATH OF FRESH AIR Outdoor Play Summit, September 27-29, 2019

Posted by Joel Barnes on March 14, 2019

BREATH OF FRESH AIROutdoor Play SummitSeptember 27-29, 2019Ottawa, Ontario Are you passionate about providing a breath of fresh air to children through outdoor play? Join us for Breath of Fresh Air, a two-day Outdoor Play Summit where thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy makers can connect and share best practices. This innovative national forum on outdoor play takes place in an...

CPHA releases toolkit and position statement on unstructured play

Posted by Megan Forse on March 13, 2019

The Canadian Public Health Association recently released a toolkit composed of infographics, research summaries, decision-making tools, promising practices, and a discussion document. The toolkit provides excellent resources and information on the importance of unstructured play, how to develop policy to facilitate play within schools and communities, and current research in the field of risky play. Explore all the toolkit has to offer here!  CPHA simultaneously released the Children’s Unstructured Play Position Statement which... : an online tool to help parents and caregivers gain the confidence to allow their kids to engage in more outdoor play.

Posted by Megan Forse on March 12, 2019 is a fantastic resource for parents to explore and better understand risky play, why it is so important, and how to have the confidence to encourage risky play for children. The online tool guides users through a personalized journey, allowing them to determine their approach when it comes to risky play, decide what changes they would like to make, and develop an personalized plan to facilitate desired changes.  ...

Exposure to natural green environments can promote children’s mental well being

Posted by Megan Forse on March 4, 2019

More and more parents, practitioners, teachers, and researchers are interested in how nature can be beneficial for children as place to learn,play, socially interact, and become connected. A growing body of research published in the last decade shows promising results that regular classes in natural green environments (e.g. EOtC  – Education Outside the Classroom) can promote students’ physical activity, learning motivation, academic achievements, and social competencies. Many studies focusing on associations between human health and...

Nature Canada releases report; Screen Time vs. Green Time: The Health Impacts of too much Screen Time

Posted by Megan Forse on February 25, 2019

Nature Canada, a national charitable organization has released a report titled “Screen Time vs. Green Time” The Health Impacts of too much Screen Time” exposing the negative impacts of screen time on Canadian children and providing suggestions to guide children away from screens, and towards nature. Report highlights and findings In an article summarizing the Screen Time vs. Green Time report, NatureHood Program Manager Jill Sturdy highlights some of the reports major findings 87% of...

Study: cross-sectional associations of screen time and outdoor play with social skills in preschool children

Posted by Megan Forse on February 19, 2019

As we continue to understand the benefits of outdoor active play, and the consequences of screen time, research is expanding to explore the influence of outdoor play and screen time on specific areas of children’s health and development. A recently published study in PLOS ONE titled “Cross sectional associations of screen time and outdoor play with social skills in preschool children”.  discusses the relatively unexplored link between screen time and outdoor play on social skills.  One of the...