What every child should do before the age of 12

ParticipACTION releases a 'Play List' to celebrate the second annual Longest Day of Play

TORONTO, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Rejoice!  The first day of summer – and the longest day of the year – is almost here, and after a long, dark Canadian winter, it deserves a warm welcome.  So, on June 21, ParticipACTION encourages families to clear their schedules, get outside and play on the Longest Day of Play.  With only seven per cent of kids aged five to 11 meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, a finding from this year's Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, ParticipACTION is encouraging families to bring more spontaneous, unstructured activity into their lives.  The ParticipACTION Play List includes 24 things every Canadian child should do before the age of 12:

  1. Experience total weightlessness at the top of a swing
  2. Skip stones across water
  3. Play leap frog
  4. Hang upside down from a tree limb
  5. Jump into water cold enough that it almost takes their breath away
  6. Throw rocks or snowballs at a post from a distance until they get a bulls eye
  7. Ride a bike with no hands
  8. Paddle a canoe
  9. Piggyback someone
  10. Roll down a big hill
  11. Try a sport that requires a helmet
  12. Collect something in a forest
  13. Make up a dance routine
  14. Slide down something on a piece of cardboard
  15. Build a fort
  16. Hike somewhere for a picnic
  17. Bury someone they love in the sand
  18. Play outside in the rain
  19. Jump in a pile of leaves
  20. Make a snow angel
  21. Fly a kite
  22. Create an obstacle course
  23. Swim in a lake or an ocean
  24. Make up a game involving a ball


"Active, outdoor play is an essential part of every Canadian childhood," says Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation. "As the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card reminds us, all kids need regular opportunities to let loose, run around, make mistakes and make their own fun.  The Longest Day of Play reminds us that an active childhood includes freedom to play." 

Supporting and encouraging opportunities for active, unstructured play, especially outdoors, may be one of the most promising, accessible and cost-effective solutions to increasing child and youth physical activity in Canada.  Active play offers cognitive, emotional and social development benefits. It has also been shown to improve and foster motor function, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, the ability to control emotions and social skills such as taking turns and helping others.

Visit the ParticipACTION website for more information on Longest Day of Play and to download the ParticipACTION Play List.

About ParticipACTION
ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION was re-launched in 2007 to help prevent the looming inactivity crisis that faces Canada. As a national not-for-profit organization solely dedicated to inspiring and supporting healthy and active living for Canadians, it works with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to inspire and support Canadians to move more. ParticipACTION is generously supported by Sport Canada. For more information, visit www.participACTION.com

Image with caption: "ParticipACTION's Longest Day of Play (CNW Group/ParticipACTION)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140617_C2438_PHOTO_EN_3687.jpg


For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Meaghan Beech, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, W: (416) 413-4650, M: (647) 463-4467, meaghan.beech@hkstrategies.ca; Katherine Janson, ParticipACTION, W: (416) 913-1471, M: (647) 717-8674, kjanson@participACTION.com

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