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.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute