Welcome to our outdoor play resource centre. This is a sampling of material that is available. If you have a resource you’d like to share that does not appear here, please get in touch with us by leaving a comment on the blog, or by contacting us on Facebook, or Twitter.

Document Downloads

5 Key Findings on Unstructured Play and Mental Health – Canadian Public Health Association – download here

Children, Outdoor Play, and Loose Parts – Flannigan and Dietze – direct pdf download here

Children’s Unstructured Play – Position Statement – Canadian Public Health Association – download here

How Not to Cheat Children the Theory of Loose Parts – Simon Nicholson – download here

‘How To’ Create Mobile Adventure Playground – A Practical Guide: Insights from the Calgary Experience – Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, City of Calgary, Government of Alberta, University of Alberta – download here

Loose Parts Policy – Canadian Public Health Association – download here

Out to Play: Practical guidance for creating outdoor play experiences in early learning and childcare – Scottish Government – download here

Playing It Up with Loose Parts, Playpods and Adventure Playgrounds – Alliance for Childhood – download here

Resources for playing – providing loose parts to support children’s play – A Toolkit – Play Walesdownload here

Online Portals

Active for Life – Active for Life is a Canadian not-for-profit social initiative founded by B2ten. We are a national initiative created to help parents give their children the right start in life through the development of physical literacy.

Child and Nature Alliance of Canada – The Child and Nature Alliance of Canada fosters meaningful connections with the outdoors for children and youth. We believe that all children and youth should have the opportunity to play and learn in forests, parks, meadows, and mud puddles. We work to connect children and youth with nature through policy, research, and practice.

Child in the City – Dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of children throughout Europe and beyond, by providing high-quality platforms – research, blogs, interviews, papers, opinions, conferences and seminars – for the communities of interest working to develop good practice in the creation of genuinely child-friendly cities. 

EarthPLAY at Earth Day Canada – Earth Day Canada believes outdoor play is the foundation of environmental education and action. We’ve been working hard to put self-directed outdoor play back into the lives of children as a natural part of their day-to-day lives by addressing play provision in schools, parks, streets and community green spaces.

Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development – The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development is a project from the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) supported by Université Laval and Université de Montréal. Over the years, this organization has built a solid network of international experts who gather, synthesize and comment, in their respective domain of expertise, the most up-to-date scientific knowledge available on the development of young children, from conception to age five.

International Play Association (IPA) – IPA is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961. It provides a forum for exchange and action across disciplines and across sectors. IPA’s purpose is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right.

Lawson Foundation – The Lawson Foundation is a national family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the wellbeing of children and youth and their development as active and engaged members of society.

Outdoor Classroom Day – Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. – an online tool to help parents and caregivers gain the confidence to allow their kids to engage in more outdoor play.

Play England – The charitable organization’s vision is for England to be a country where everybody can fully enjoy their right to play throughout their childhood and teenage years, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31 and the Charter for Children’s Play.

Play Scotland – Formed in 1998, Play Scotland is working to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have daily access to diverse and quality play opportunities that meet their individual need at home,  in early years and childcare settings, at school and in the community.

Play Wales | Chwarae Cymru – Play Wales is an independent, national charity funded by the Welsh Government. The organization works to raise awareness of children and young people’s need and right to play and to promote good practice at every level of decision making and in every place where children might play.

Pop-Up Adventure Play – Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds are free, public celebrations of child-directed play, stocked with loose parts (such as cardboard boxes, fabric, tape and string) and staffed by playworkers.  An introductory version of the classic adventure playground model, they gently introduce themes of risk and freedom by welcoming people of all ages and abilities to play together.

The Wild Network – There is a growing understanding that our children need more wildtime in their lives and that if we design family life, our communities and our schools so that we provide more of it then we can all thrive.


Creative Star – Juliet Robertson is one of Scotland’s leading education consultants who specialises in outdoor learning and play. She delivers training, gives keynote speeches, leads and supports innovative outdoor projects and writes content for websites, documents and case studies. She is passionate about enabling schools, play organisations and early years settings to provide quality outdoor learning and play opportunities.

PlayGroundology – Alex Smith is an independent writer/researcher and founder/editor of the award-winning blog, PlayGroundology. Over the past 10 years he has become an ardent play advocate producing original content and curating material for international audiences on a variety of social media platforms. His volunteerism also includes programming public play events, participating in presentations and panel discussions and being a grass-roots source for media reporting on play.

Pop-Up Adventure Play – Our mission is to support children’s play. We do this by applying principles of the UK-based field of play work for schools, neighborhoods, museums, parks, and anywhere else that children can be found.  Our belief is that children have the right to play as they please, and that a place that supports children’s play benefits everyone.  Come and join the play revolution!

Rethinking Childhood – Tim Gill is an independent scholar, advocate and consultant on childhood. He focuses on the changing nature of children’s play and free time, and their evolving relationships with the people and places around them. His work cuts across public policy, education, child care, planning, transport, urban design and playwork. It engages with academics, practitioners, policy makers, the media and the wider public.

Teacher Tom – I am a preschool teacher, blogger, speaker, artist and author. For the past 18 years, I’ve taught preschool at the Woodland Park Cooperative School. The children come to us as 2-year-olds in diapers and leave as “sophisticated” 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten. The cooperative school model allows me to work very closely with families in a true community setting.

Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research – Diane Kashin is a retired early childhood education professor and current chair of the York Region Nature Collaborative. Diane can be reached at or on Twitter. You are also invited to visit the Technology Rich Inquiry Based Facebook page and the York Region Nature Collaborative Facebook page.


@dr_bph – Senior Lecturer & Course Director (@CharlesSturtUni); husband/dad; Writer; P-T tech enthusiast; Tweets= my own; Passionate research disseminator to the public!

@mbrussoni – Associate Professor, developmental psychologist @UBC, @BCCHresearch & @BCIRPU. Research children’s health & well-being: @PlayOutsideUBC

@popuplay – Together, we all can support child-directed play – one cardboard box at a time.

@timrgill – Author of No Fear. Researcher on #urbanchildhoods and risk. Play advocate, public speaker, dad. Pro liveable cities, nature, #E17.

@PlayfulLeeds – Play should be for everybody, regardless of age, background or wealth. Contact us if you want us to help your park, development, place or city more playful.


The Power of Play takes us around the world to meet the people who are turning play science into one of the most promising areas of research today. One scholar we’re introduced to is Stuart Brown, a California psychiatrist known as the “grandfather” of play research. Brown recognized play was essential to human nature as far back as 1966, finding that playing freely as a child is key to being mentally healthy as an adult. Available on CBC Gem.

Stay Tuned For Updates….

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