Ideas and Inspiration - Families

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Why outdoor play?

The Get Outside and Play Early Childhood Network has 4 reasons why active, outdoor nature play is essential in early childhood. Learn the 4 reasons here.


Children and Nature Network have well researched infographics about the benefits of outdoor play for children. Find them here.

Child directed and initiated play is essential for healthy brain development in the early years. This TEDx talk explores the research around play and how childhood has changed. Listen to it here.

Calgary blogger, Annika Mang of is sharing great posts about the benefits of unstructured outdoor play and ways to encourage it with your children.

Let the Kids Play - Benefits of Outdoor Play

Ways to Encourage Unstructured Outdoor Play


How outdoor play?

Keep it simple! No need for equipment or grand expeditions, keep it close to home and explore your nearby nature. Click here to see our 4 steps along with a few tips.

Alberta Recreation and Parks Association has an excellent guide full of great ideas for simple activities to do outdoors. Download the cards here.



Where outdoor play?

Everywhere! You don't need to go far to engage children outdoors, when they are young, it is important for children to develop a sense of place and belonging in their own communities. Explore your 'nearby' nature!

Here are a few great resources if you want to travel a bit further:

Alberta Wide

Canadian Wildlife Federation has created the Wild Family Nature Clubs, a platform to help volunteer parents organize events. You can create an event, set up a simple registration and also have insurance. Share the event with your community and get outside together. Calgary has several active volunteers and it would great to see more Alberta communities join in!




Calgary Outdoor Playgroup - Facebook group is an active on-line community to ask questions, share experiences and be inspired by other families who value outdoor play. With almost 3000 members, someone will be able to help you! ​

Tanya Koob shares her outdoor adventures on her blog - Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. She shares great tips, ideas and inspiration for local urban exploring as well as camping and hiking. Here are a few blogs you may find useful for Get Outside and Play Week:

Calgary Urban Hikes

Best Toddler/Preschooler Hikes

Best Day Trips and Picnic Sites

Dana reviews parks and playground across Calgary in her blog  Calgary Playground Review. Search for parks and playgrounds in our area of the city, dind a new park and explore during Get Outside and Play Week! Here are a few blog links:

Calgary Parks profiled on the blog

50 Ideas for Fun in Calgary's Park

Calgary's Top 15 Most Popular Playgrounds - 2016

Karen writes the blog Play Outside Guide, she lives in Calgary. Her goal is to provide “everything families need to know to get outside and have fun.” A few of her blogs you may find useful as you plan for Get Outside and Play Week are:

Best Short Hikes Near Calgary

3 Family Hikes in NW Calgary



Hike It Baby is a North American wide initiative to help families get outside. Edmonton has a very active Hike It Baby chapter. Register on the website and you will  be able to access the upcoming event.


Red Deer

Visit the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, explore the trails, and play in Imagination Grove and make music in Harmony Garden! Find out more.


City of Lethbridge has released an parks app. Find natural areas, playgrounds and trails easily. Explore a new area during Get Outside and Play Week!