The Power of Play

Help Canada Bring Back Play and get our kids moving more

  • Regular active play can help Canadian children and youth meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of at least 60 minutes a day of moderate- to vigorous- intensity physical activity. Currently, only 7% of Canadian children are meeting the guidelines.
  • Active play is an easy, accessible, inexpensive way to help kids get more physically active.
  • Active play is fun, but it's not frivolous. Aside from providing opportunity for regular physical activity of a child's own design, play is shown to improve a child's motor function, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and social skills.
  • Barriers to active play include the amount of sedentary "screen time" time kids are spending with technology and heightened societal concerns about childhood security, related to both traffic safety and crime.

The demise of play: facts from the playground*

  • 46% of Canadian children and youth are getting a mere 3 hours or less of active play each week (including weekends days)
  • Kids are spending 63% of their free time after school and on weekends being sedentary
  • 92% of Canadian kids said, if given the choice, they would choose to play with friends over watching TV
  • The proportion of Canadian kids who play outside after school dropped 14% over the last decade

For tips and suggestions on how to spark more active play with your children, visit

  • Source: 2012 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth