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Canadian Public Health Association

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About Project Play

Unstructured play is a child's right and is integral to healthy development. It is play where children follow their own ideas without a defined purpose or outcome. Unfortunately children’s access to this type of play is increasingly limited. The goal of Project Play is to reduce this trend by providing tools and undertaking advocacy.

CPHA acknowledges and thanks the Lawson Foundation and our Project Manager, Christine Alden, for their generous support. We also thank our fellow grantees for their continuing support in reviewing and providing directions for various components of this work. We especially thank the Project Advisory Committee for its ongoing direction and support.

Children's Unstructured Play Position Statement


The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) recognizes unstructured play as a child’s right and a critical component to child and youth health and well-being. Actions are necessary to reduce the barriers limiting opportunities for unstructured play at school and in the community. CPHA calls upon all parents/caregivers, educators, daycares, school boards, public health professionals, the private sector and all levels of governments and Indigenous peoples’ governments to improve access to unstructured, child-led play.

Project Reports

As part of the project, CPHA conducted key informant interviews with legal experts, school boards, insurers and risk managers, municipal council members and department leaders, play researchers, advocates, and workers, as well as playground designers and inspectors and a survey of parents/guardians to guide development of the toolkit.


Download as PDFSummary Report: Key Informant Interviews


Download as PDFSummary Report: Parent Surveys