Children experience the world first through play. Let them experience the world.

Play is more than just fun and games.

Play is a basic childhood need. Through play, children learn societal roles, norms and values and develop physical and cognitive skills, creativity, self-worth, independence and competency.

Above all, outdoor play – with the risks that come with it – can bring many developmental benefits for children. For example, outdoor risky play, such as independent exploration, rough-and-tumble play, climbing, chasing, building, and so on, can promote children’s social and physical development, emotional well-being, self-confidence, risk management and physical activity.

Children’s opportunities for outdoor play have gone down across generations. One of the reasons is the view that outdoor play can be too dangerous or that it is not as important as other activities.

Reversing this trend requires a societal shift.

The Play Outside UBC Lab, led by Dr. Mariana Brussoni, is dedicated to studying child injury prevention and children’s outdoor play. This research looks at the effect of outdoor play on children, the influence of adults (parents, caregivers, educators, and others) on children’s play opportunities, the design of outdoor environments (play spaces, neighbourhoods) to support outdoor play, as well as policies to promote outdoor play.