News and Updates
April 9, 2018

April 22nd Is Earth Day

Providing opportunities for outdoor play at school is an important part of healthy living and a great way to celebrate the Earth!

This April, in honour of Earth Day on April 22nd, celebrate the many benefits of outdoor play at your school, including its ability to build resilience, creativity, inclusion, and leadership in students. EarthPLAY, a project by Earth Day Canada aims to promote the above using outdoor play.

According to Earth Day Canada, spending regular time in nature contributes to increases in general health, mental well-being, and intellectual development; however, a majority of Canadian children currently spend an hour or less outdoors each day. As children and youth spend so much of their lives at school, increasing access to outdoor play at school is an easy way to increase time spent outdoors.

Research has shown that time spent outdoors in nature is essential for the healthy development of children, both physically and mentally. According to ParticipACTION, when children are engaged with the outdoors, they are able to learn more about the habitat they live in. These experiences lead to healthier children and have a positive effect on their attitudes towards the natural environment that they will carry into adulthood. Additionally, according to the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA), spending regular time outdoors in nature helps students participate more successfully in academic learning indoors. Through outdoor play, children are able to exercise both their physical and mental capacities, increase their cognitive and emotional resources, and foster more positive attitudes towards school, furthering their overall development. Finally, according to Ophea, children who are introduced to outdoor environments in a variety of weather conditions grow up to have more confidence and self-esteem, fostering increased resiliency and self-regulation skills. Just remember to ensure that all students are wearing weather-appropriate clothing!

Providing children with opportunities to play outdoors during the school day is an important part of healthy living and a great way to celebrate the Earth! Learn more about the EarthPLAY program here and about Earth Day Canada here and have a great time celebrating Earth Day outdoors this year!