The YMCA is thrilled to be an active partner with the families and communities we serve. We recognize that parents, guardians, and families are the best experts on their children, and we are excited to work with families, supplying resources to help families extend the Outdoor Play experience at home!
We encourage children to discover the natural world around them, by experiencing it first-hand.
What does the word SQUISH really feel like as we walk barefoot in the mud?
What does SPLASH look like as we jump from puddle to puddle?
What does SWOOSH sound like as the wind dances around the trees in our yards?
The adventure begins...
When adults carefully examine how outdoor play experiences contribute to children's development, they gain a better appreciation of its importance and how it sets the foundation for lifelong learning (B. Dietz).
Family Outdoor Play Ideas
- Go for an adventure or scavenger hunt around your neighbourhood!
- Take indoor activities outside. Colouring, reading stories, playing with Lego - this can all be done outside!
- Go for a picnic in a different park every month.
- Save up some of your boxes from online shopping and deliveries and bring them outside with some other materials. See where your imagination takes you!
There’s No Such Thing as ‘Bad Weather’
Be mindful of the language you use when discussing the outdoors. Often we associate negative labels with weather that is less than ideal (in an adult’s perspective). Check out these tips on how to frame different weather conditions for positive outdoor play!
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Parents’ Guide to Outdoor Play – Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development
- Outdoor Play Canada Outdoor Play Canada | A growing network of leaders and organizations working together to galvanize an outdoor play movement across Canada
- Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play B.-EN-Active-Outdoor-Play-Position-Statement-FINAL-DESIGN.pdf (childnature.ca)
- ParticipACTION Report Card 2015 ParticipACTION 2015 Report Card Full Report (prismic.io)
- 13 unstructured playtime ideas to get the kids outside
- Ways to Encourage Unstructured Outdoor Play