Introduction

Free outdoor play—such as jumping in a pile of leaves, and climbing trees—is a child’s right and has a wide range of benefits. It is active, fosters creativity, teaches children about their natural environment, and promotes positive cognitive, social, and emotional development. Over the past decades, outdoor play has declined sharply while sedentary activities have increased steadily. This trend is linked to serious health problems, including childhood obesity and mental health problems. Scholars and child’s right activists globally are concerned and have called for action to offset this trend.

The goal of the Roundtable is to develop a (research) strategy for systematically creating opportunities for outdoor play in schools and communities in Canada.

Background reading materials - available here

  • Outdoor play glossary of terms
  • Position statement
  • Latest ParticipACTION report card
  • Risky outdoor play and health in children - a systematic review
  • Outdoor time and physical activity in children - a systematic review
  • Teens in public spaces and natural landscapes
  • Critical reflections on policy and regulation
  • Outdoor play spaces in Canada: As if children mattered