Environmental Scan of Child and Youth Outdoor Play-Based Projects, Programs, Activities and Services Available in Canada During the COVID-19


  • Louise de Lannoy Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  • Lindsay MacDonald Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  • Kheana Barbeau Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa
  • Mark S. Tremblay Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa


COVID-19, Canada, outdoor play, children, youth, health


Restrictions to childcare, schools, and after-school programs during COVID-19 have meant that many programs and organizations have adapted to take place outdoors. To better understand the nature and extent of these adaptations, we conducted a Canada-wide environmental scan of outdoor play-based child and youth projects, programs, activities, and services available during the height of the pandemic (2020-2021) using a “formal searching” method. We identified 79 items in Canada related to outdoor play during COVID-19 and received 36 responses to our survey of child and youth-oriented outdoor play providers (conducted during May 2021). This scan highlights the overwhelming support for outdoor play during the pandemic and makes recommendations on how outdoor play may support post-pandemic recovery efforts.





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