What is active play?
Active play comes in many forms, but it is generally freely chosen, spontaneous, self-directed and fun. Play allows children and youth of all ages to try new things, test boundaries, learn from their experience and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy being active. And while active play is fun, it’s certainly not frivolous.
Why is it important?
Play has been shown to foster and improve:
- Motor function
- Executive functions – the ability to control and direct one’s emotions and behaviours
- Social skills – sharing, taking turns, helping others, resolving conflict
- Speech (in preschoolers)
Click here (PDF) for the 2012 Active Healthy Kids Report Card “Is Play Extinct?”
Click here (PDF) for active play information for different ages of children, and youth.
Click here (PDF) for tips on how to keep play alive.
Check out ParticipACTION’s Make Room for Play tools and resources
Check out ParticipACTION’s Bring Back Play mobile app that helps parents access game ideas and information on how to play while outdoors with their children.