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Physical Activity

Active Play

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: active play

  • Motor function
  • Creativity
  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • 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?”

Check out ParticipACTION’s Make Room for Play tools and resources.

Check out ParticipACTION’s Build Your Best Day that allows parents and children/youth to choose activities to meet the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.

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