Let Kids Play: Role of Unstructured Play on Child & Youth Wellbeing Webinar

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Let Kids Play: Role of Unstructured Play on Child & Youth Wellbeing Webinar


This webinar is held in partnership with Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health (OSPAPPH) and will focus on the benefits of children spending time outdoors being physically active and engaging with nature.

Through this webinar, health professionals will learn about evidence/research that supports unstructured play outdoors which connects children and youth with nature. In addition, tools available to support schools, municipalities and the community in applying the evidence/research will be shared. Webinar participants will hear from two Ontario public health units involved in this work, as well as the Canadian Public Health Association regarding a recently released position statement on children’s unstructured play.

Webinar learning objectives:

In this session, we will explore:

  • The value of unstructured outdoor play for children in general.
  • The value of unstructured outdoor play for children specifically in the school setting particularly about how greened/naturalized school yards support children and youth to be physically active, as well as other health benefits associated with active outdoor play and learning.
  • One local public health agency’s work in engaging community partners in the discussion and advocacy of more unstructured outdoor play for children.
  • Discuss the policy requirements for communities to develop opportunities for unstructured outdoor play


Lindsay Lock is a Public Health Nurse in the Chronic Disease Prevention Program at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

  • Lindsay works with a variety of stakeholders, including community and municipal partners, workplaces and schools, to build community capacity and create healthy public policies and supportive environments that provide opportunities to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviour. Lindsay has been working in public health for 13 years.

Monique Beneteau, Health Promoter, Family and Community Health, Peterborough Public health

  • Monique has been with Peterborough Public Health for 16 years working in various portfolios as a Health Promoter. For over six years, she has been devoting some of her time to the area of outdoor, unstructured play for children. Her work has involved synthesizing evidence and sharing it widely, engaging with key community stakeholders, and advocating for policy change within municipal governments and school board.

Frank Welsh, Director of Policy, Canadian Public Health Association

  • Frank the Director of Policy with the Canadian Public Health Association where he is responsible for developing policy alternatives and supporting advocacy on public health issues. Prior to joining CPHA, he held managerial and Director-level positions with the Canadian Federal government, and worked in science-based regulatory and policy development, business and strategic planning, public health emergency preparedness, and management of science-based organizations. He began his career as a research scientist.
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