Browse all content related to outdoor play and Research.

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 a recent piece for the New York Times, Lorraine Allen discusses the impact of COVID-19 related confinement on children in Spain and Italy. Her article centres around the findings from a recent study collaboratively produced by researchers from Miguel Hernandez University (Spain) and University of Perugia (Italy; publication under review), which describes increases in......

In a piece for the Centre for Active Living, Kassi Boyd, the Community Impact Coordinator at The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, and a 3rd year PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Jennifer Leo, Director of The Steadward Centre for Personal &......

Thank you to Dr. Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga (MD, PhD Candidate, Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa) for providing this post.   The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (aged 5–17 years) recommend at least 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity,  no more than 2 hours of daily recreational screen time, and 9-11......

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......

Thank you to Michelle E.E. Bauer, PhD Candidate (Interdisciplinary Health Science, University of Ottawa), for providing this post.   As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of Canadians across the country, conversations abound on how best to help families cope. Outdoor play, if done safely (only with household members and......

Last week, Dr. Mariana Brussoni from the University of British Columbia spoke with Dr. Katherine Frohlich (University of Montreal) and Kate St-Arneault (PhD student, University of Montreal) about outdoor play during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the bilingual webcast, Dr. Brussoni, Dr. Frohlich, and Ms. St-Arneault discuss the consequences of physical distancing on their families’ ability......

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......

Thank you to Martin van Rooijen, MEd, PhD-candidate (University of Humanistic Studies, the Netherlands) for providing this post and photo. Day care and after-school care programs can be fun places for children to play with others, be rowdy, and generally exhaust themselves before their parents pick them up after a long day of work. Though......

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on 20 November 2019, Play Wales published a new report where children and teenagers talk about what’s good about the play opportunities in their local area and how satisfied they are about when, how and where they can......

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......

Yesterday, Dr. Mark Tremblay was interviewed by CTV Ottawa about the decline in outdoor play among Canadian children and youth and what we can do about it. Click here to view the 4-minute segment....

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......

Thank you to Amber Fyfe-Johnson, ND, PhD (Washington State University) & Pooja Tandon, MD, MPH (Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington) for providing this post. The preschool years are a critical period in life for growth, development, and for laying the foundation for healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. Research suggests that many preschoolers in......

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......

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......

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......

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......

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......

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.......

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......

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......

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......

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 article titled “The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systemic review and meta-analysis of greenspce exposure and health outcome“, 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......

In case you were not yet convinced of the benefits of getting children outdoors….here is some more evidence! The Muddy Hands Report presents data from the Outdoor Classroom Day 2017 as well as a wide range of literature to highlight the benefits, barriers and solutions to getting children outdoors, for learning and play. The Muddy......

Children’s mental health, involving their emotional, psychological, and social well-being, is an important factor influencing children’s development of a sense of identity, positive self-esteem, healthy peer and family relationships, and stress coping mechanisms. Mental health issues therefore have the potential to prevent children from reaching developmental and social milestones, and persist into adulthood. Mental health issues......

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Kids with regular access to unstructured, child-directed outdoor play form a lasting, positive relationship with nature.