Browse all content related to outdoor play and Policy.

The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association is proud to partner with 8 80 Cities and World Urban Parks to promote a series of webinars examining the role of public space development and city programming, design, and management in promoting winter accessibility of parks, public spaces and open spaces.  In these webinars, the CPRA will hear......

Outdoor Play Canada is hosting it’s first Townhall Meeting on Friday, January 15th at 12pm EST. Join us to hear an overview of our goals and strategic priorities from OPC Chair Dr. Mark Tremblay, learn about other sector activities, and share your updates at the roundtable discussion. Registration Link  ...

The Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Parks Council and Mount Royal University’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability, recently announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network. The Network is made up of scientists, researchers, Indigenous knowledge holders, students, and parks and protected areas specialists and managers, who collectively will......

As part of the process of reviewing the Child Care and Early Years Act, the Ministry of Education in Ontario put out a call for submissions to discuss several components of the Act, including the potential to license Forest and Outdoor Programs. In response, Andrew Fleck Children’s Services (AFCS), together with Child Nature Alliance of......

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......

In their latest article for The Conversation, Dr. John J Reilly, Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health Science, University of Strathclyde, and Dr. Mark Tremblay, Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, discuss the negative effects COVID-19 related restrictions have had on children’s cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness, the authors explain,......

Thank you to Murry Burgess (North Carolina State University), Rachel Szczytko (Pisces Foundation), and Kathryn Stevenson (North Carolina State University), for providing this post. Do children in your life spend time outside? What do they do? Maybe they go on family hunting trips, play organized sports, or spend time alone in the backyard. New research......

On August 26, 2020, Tim Gill, an independent researcher and International Play Association member, and Robyn Monro Miller, President of the International Play Association, released their study report: ‘Play in Lockdown: An international study of government and civil society responses to Covid-19 and their impact on children’s play and mobility’. The study collected data from......

This blog provides a brief overview of an article published in Health Reports on July 15, 2020: “Exercise and screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic” by Rachel C Colley, Tracey Bushnik and Kellie Langlois. Thank you to Dr. Colley for providing this post. Background Life changed dramatically in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.......

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......

Thank you to Yingyi Lin, PhD student in the Population, Health and Place program at the University of Southern California, and Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, for providing this post. Walking to school and playing in the streets without adult supervision were previously commonplace, but are no longer the norm......

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......

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......

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”......

In a note at the request of the Play Safety Forum (including Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales and PlayBoard Northern Ireland), Professor David Ball, Tim Gill and Andy Yates summarized evidence on the effect of restricting children’s play as it relates to 1) reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and conversely, 2) negatively impacting......

In her recent article for The Guardian, Laura Laker discusses the innovative ways several cities around the world have changed to keep kids healthy, sociable and outdoors. Ms. Laker highlights concerns over city planning that prioritizes cars and the economy over the environment and quality of life, and contrasts those concerns with examples of how......

In a recent piece published in The Conversation, Dr. Lauren McNamara, Research Scientist with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, and Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales discuss the importance of preserving recess when schools reopen after the COVID-19 shut downs. Their piece in The Conversation follows......

This piece was a collaborative effort by UK professors from Sussex, Cambridge and Reading Universities, intended for general distribution.  As experts in children’s mental health and development, we urge that children’s social and emotional wellbeing be prioritised in all decisions relating to the easing of lockdown and re-opening of schools. We recognise the vital importance......

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 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......

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......

Many have struggled to access the outdoors, parks, and nature as a result of physical distancing regulations instituted across the country in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak. Though most Provincial and National parks have reopened, services are limited. At the municipal level, restrictions are being lifted on parks but certain elements, such as play structures......

Thank you to Alexander Wray, H.BES, MA-Candidate (Western University, Canada) for providing this post and photo.   Canadian children and youth over the past decade have reported lower levels of physical activity than previous generations and are reporting a worrying decline in their overall mental wellbeing. These populations report spending less time outside than ever......

March 16, 2020 10am Eastern/7am Pacific   On Saturday, March 14th, BC’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke to the public on ways to stay healthy while engaging in safe social distancing practices. In her announcement, she highlighted the observation that viruses do not transmit as readily outdoors. So, she suggests, ‘go outside and......

On November 20th of last year, Outdoor Play Canada published an article titled, “If In Doubt, Let Them Out – A Child’s Right to Play,” marking the 30th anniversary of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In mid-December, this article was published in The Conversation. Click here to read the article in The......

New research from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Health Measures Survey reaffirmed the dramatic decline in Canadian children’s fitness seen over the past 35 years with only a third of Canadian school-aged children meeting physical activity guidelines. Other research from the same survey showed that physical activity increases when children are outdoors, with each additional hour spent......

Make sure your voice is heard. Ontario Parks is halfway through the Healthy Parks Healthy People consultation period. The time to submit your feedback on nature and health is now! We know nature is a valuable tool for producing positive health outcomes. Ontario Parks is ready to take action, but they need your help first.......

Check out the new documentary “Running Free: Children’s Independent Mobility”! Told through the eyes of 3 families, this 26-minute documentary explores the concept of children’s independent mobility, the benefits for children’s mental health, and challenges viewers to consider solutions to this issue. Watch it here:...

Honour Award The Outdoor Play Canada Honour Award is the highest form of recognition by Outdoor Play Canada. The award is designed to recognize and celebrate an individual/organization who has demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership for the promotion of outdoor play in Canada. Qualified nominees are individuals/organizations who have made outstanding contributions to outdoor play......

Ottawa, September 27, 2019 – Outdoor Play Canada was launched today at the Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Play Summit in Ottawa – an open-air conference where outdoor play thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers gathered to exchange knowledge and best practices for promoting outdoor play. Outdoor Play Canada has a vision that outdoor play......

Are you looking for a Breath of Fresh Air? The first national Outdoor Play Summit is only 50 days away! Join us September 27-29th, 2019 for a national forum on outdoor play, taking place in an open-air environment, located at the Ottawa Forest and Nature Schools and Wesley Clover Park’s Campground, where thought leaders, practitioners, researchers and......

Ever since an unnecessary threat from police against a six-year-old simply playing a game of road hockey in front of his home, the residents in the town of Beloeil, Quebec have grown upset about the lack of opportunity that their kids have to play freely outside. Since then, street-play initiatives have resulted in the designation......

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.......

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......

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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guards every child’s right to engage in play.