Outdoor Play

Our Outdoor Play Strategy is built on the scientific evidence base that establishes outdoor play, with its risks, as essential to healthy child development.

While play may be perceived as simply fun for kids, it is a whole lot more. Outdoor play supports multiple developmental benefits: healthier, more active children; self-regulation and resilience; social skills through interacting and negotiating with others; and, learning through play. Given the critical importance to development, children from all social, ethnic and economic backgrounds require play-rich opportunities in the outdoors.

But children’s experiences in the world are increasingly structured, technology-based, and divorced from nature. We are missing a healthy balance between letting kids explore and take risks and taking reasonable measures to keep them safe. A growing outdoor play sector in Canada seeks to increase opportunities for outdoor play in all settings. We have learned the importance of working with multiple sectors and stakeholders in order to create opportunities for outdoor play in distinct settings. As we move forward, we are focusing our multi-sector approach to benefit children’s outdoor play in early childhood education programs. Through our funding, we support adult education, training, and policy development to increase children’s opportunities for outdoor play. We convene our grantees to support sharing and learning, and we use robust evaluation and knowledge mobilization to measure and leverage our results.


Outdoor Play Strategy: A Phased Approach

Phase 1 (2013-2019)
Exploring outdoor play as an essential element to supporting the healthy development of children and youth.

Phase 1.5 (2018-2020)
Exploring a focus on early childhood education. 

Phase 2 (2021-2023)
Building adult capacity in Early Learning and Child Care

Understand our Impact

Access information about our granting history and the projects that we fund in our Grants Navigator

Related News and Updates

Report | Funding for Outdoor Play in Canada

Report | Funding for Outdoor Play in Canada

"Funding for Outdoor Play in Canada" supports funders and grant seekers in finding common ground and building partnerships to advance the multiple issue areas that overlap with outdoor play July 29, 2021 - A new report from The Lawson Foundation and Outdoor Play...

Pin It on Pinterest