Outdoor Play

Outdoor Play Strategy: Training Tools & Research

Many Outdoor Play Strategy projects produced training materials and programming, tools, and published research as part of their implementation or planned project outcomes. While some of these resources remain internal to the projects’ organizations, others have been made available for use by the outdoor play sector at large. The following resources, divided into several themes, are publicly available at the time of this report. We will also add additional resources and publications as they become available. 

Resources are available without charge unless otherwise indicated with a dollar sign ($).

Building adult capacity: Training and tools for adults


Forest and Nature School courses and workshops ($) | CNAC

OutdoorPlayTraining.com: ECE online training in outdoor play ($) | Okanagan College; now administered by the Canadian Child Care Federation

Play Ambassador training | Vivo

Aménager un espace de jeu pour tous ($) | RCPEM


Outdoor Play Glossary of Terms | Coordinated by KidActive in partnership with the leadership group that became Outdoor Play Canada


Perceptions that early learning teachers have about outdoor play and nature.

Dietze and Kashin (2019). LEARNing Landscapes 12(1): 91–105.

Why leadership matters in advancing outdoor pedagogy in early learning programs.

Dietze (in press). International Journal of Early Childhood. | Okanagan College

Building adult capacity: Loose parts and physical literacy


Play Outside NS/The PLEY Project reports and publications | Dalhousie University


Educator perceptions on the benefits and challenges of loose parts play in the outdoor environments of childcare centres. 

Spencer et al. (2019). AIMS Public Health 6(4): 461–476. | Dalhousie University

A loose parts randomized controlled trial to promote active outdoor play in preschool-aged children: Physical Literacy in the Early Years (PLEY) Project. 

Houser et al. (2019). Methods and Protocols 2(2): 27. | Dalhousie University

Let the children play: Scoping review on the implementation and use of loose parts for promoting physical activity participation. 

Houser et al. (2016). AIMS Public Health 3(4): 781–799. | Dalhousie University

PLEYing outside the box: Using loose parts to increase physical literacy in the early years. 

Joshi et al. (2019). Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education 31(3): 14. | Dalhousie University

Accelerometry-measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour of preschoolers in Nova Scotia, Canada. 

Stone et al. (2019). Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 44: 1005. | Dalhousie University

Are parental perceptions of risk and attitudes towards risk-taking during play associated with preschoolers’ physical activity and physical literacy?

Stone et al. (2020). Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 23(2): 10. | Dalhousie University

Building adult capacity: Risk and adult attitudes


OutsidePlay.ca: Risk reframing tool | UBC Injury and Prevention Unit

Risk Benefit Assessment Toolkit | CNAC


Go Play Outside! Effects of a risk-reframing tool on mothers’ tolerance for, and parenting practices associated with, children’s risky play: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. 

Brussoni et al. (2018). Trials 19: 173. | UBC

A Web-Based and In-Person Risk Reframing Intervention to Influence Mothers’ Tolerance for, and Parenting Practices Associated With, Children’s Outdoor Risky Play: Randomized Controlled Trial

Brussoni et al. (2021). Journal of Medical Internet Research. | UBC

Community implementation models and tools


Dig into play! Community garden-based play program | Ecosource


Mobile adventure playgrounds | City of Calgary 

How to create a mobile adventure playground | City of Calgary


Promoting children’s play in Calgary, Alberta: A case study of collective impact and municipal leadership. 

Glenn et al. (2020). Cities & Health. | City of Calgary

Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) in school communities: Results from the pilot programming in Toronto (2018) | Earth Day Canada

Transform Laboratory of Transportation and Land Use Planning School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) in school communities: Results from the pilot programming in Toronto (2020) | EcoKids (formerly Earth Day Canada)

Transform Laboratory of Transportation and Land Use Planning School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

Policy tools


Unstructured Play Toolkit | CPHA


Play Charter | City of Calgary 

How to create a play charter | City of Calgary

Synthesizing knowledge from the Outdoor Play Strategy

The following resources were developed external to the Outdoor Play Strategy but draw on its projects, thought leaders, and key learnings. 

Families Canada

Two issues of Families Canada Play Magazine were dedicated to outdoor play, based entirely on the Outdoor Play Strategy through collaboration with the Lawson Foundation and interviews with the project leaders. These issues showcase the projects and apply their learning to benefit family resource practitioners across Canada.

Issue 1 (English)

Issue 1 (French)

Issue 2 (English)

Issue 2 (French)

Additional outdoor play resources


Outdoor Play.

Brussoni, M. (2019). Topic in the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.


Multi-sector perspectives on outdoor play in Canada. 

Alden & Pyle (2019). International Journal of Play 8: 239.

Staff Contact

Christine AldenChristine Alden

Our Areas of Focus

Pin It on Pinterest