A project to build resilience, spark creativity and inspire leadership

Earth Day Canada believes outdoor play is the foundation of environmental education and action. We’ve been working hard to put self-directed outdoor play back into the lives of children as a natural part of their day-to-day lives by addressing play provision in schools, parks, streets and community green spaces.

Facts about play in Canada


Most Canadian children spend less than 1 hour outside each day

(Source: 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card)


Our children are among the unhappiest in the world according to UNICEF

(Source: UNICEF Report Card 2016)


A deficit of outdoor play is a risk to physical and mental health

(Source: Toronto District School Board student census)

EarthPLAY is informed by the following

ParticipACTION Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play


Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks—is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.

Every Child has the Right to


United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Get to know EarthPLAY

Why EarthPLAY?

Watch EarthPLAY in action

Feedback from Toronto public schools on the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) pilot

Why is outdoor play so important?

It generates creativity and stimulates innovation

It fosters environmental stewardship, agency and leadership

It strengthens social bonds, builds equity and inclusion

It develops emotional resilience and physical health

Come to our next POP-UP Adventure Playground!

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EarthPLAY is divided into three key areas


Working with educators to develop a play implementation plan for outdoor time.



Reestablishing outdoor, self-directed play in neighbourhoods across Canada.



One-day events showcasing the possibility of child-directed adventure play using “loose parts” in urban green space.


Wild About Canada Adventure Playgrounds (WACAP)

Check out the WACAP Poster Series on the history of Adventure Playground’s in Canada.


Get in touch!

For more information on the Outdoor Play and Learning Pilot Program or to inquire about hosting a POP-UP Adventure Playground, please email play@earthday.ca or call Earth Day Canada at 416-599-1991 and ask to speak with a member of our Play team.

Brenda Simon

Director of Play Programs

Linda Naccarato

OPAL Project Director

Jane Pilskalnietis

Jane Pilskalnietis

POP-UP Play Programs Manager

Leila Barati

Play Programs Coordinator

Sarah McCans

OPAL Mentor

Ann Cummings

OPAL Mentor

Stephanie Cormier

EcoKids Program Manager and OPAL Coordinator