Current Research

The State of Play: Socio-ecological perspective on children’s outdoor play (Playability study)

The Playability study seeks to gain the perspective of children aged 10 to 13 years and their parents on why they are motivated – or not – to play outside. We are focused on understanding how the built outdoor environment as well as individual and social factors influence children’s outdoor play and independent mobility. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an index of the playability of outdoor environments – the extent to which a given environment is friendly for children’s outdoor play. The playability index will be useful for designing urban environments to meet children’s needs and positively influence their development and well-being.

Go Play Outside! Reframing risk to promote children’s outdoor play 

Outdoor risky play is important for children’s development, well-being, risk-management, and physical activity. Despite the benefits, opportunities for outdoor risky play have been decreasing due to perceived safety concerns. Our goal is to stimulate a societal shift in how outdoor risky play is viewed and highlight the importance of it to children’s development.

We’ve been running in-person workshops for over 2 years focusing on changing parents’ and early educators’ minds about the importance of outdoor risky play – and they have been in high demand. Unfortunately, there is no tool that is amenable to large-scale application, and the goal of this study is to develop an online tool based on the existing risk reframing workshop – making it versatile, applicable and readily accessible.