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Wild side

Wild side

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. A walk on the wild side Take a walk with a difference…

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Video: Urban Outdoor Play

Video: Urban Outdoor Play

‘You don’t need to be in forest to be outside.’ Hamish Orr from Baltic Street Adventure Playground in Glasgow, shares ideas and enthusiasm for outdoor play in towns and cities (C19A)

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Video: Outdoor Play, Health and Wellbeing

Video: Outdoor Play, Health and Wellbeing

What happens when we spend more time outdoors? Zoe Sills from Earthtime for All in Elgin, explains the benefits of outdoor play-based learning for adults and children in Scotland. (C19A)

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Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 2

Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 2

Ever wondered how you can help out local wildlife? A budding ornithologist from Edinburgh Forest Kindergarten show us how to ‘Build a house for a Robin’

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Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 1

Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 1

There are lots of requests for fire building training in early years. A future Outdoor Education Officer from Craighead Country Nursery shows us his top tips.

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Video – Practitioner Tips: Knots and Ropes by FCDWL

Video – Practitioner Tips: Knots and Ropes by FCDWL

Don’t get in a tangle – learn all about ropes and knots with Si the knot guy from Family & Community Development West Lothian.

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The world’s oldest toy

The world’s oldest toy

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. The world’s oldest toy What can you build with twigs and sticks…

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The Play Cards Series

The Play Cards Series

Chalk drawing, denbuilding, crazy races, islands and sharks, nature activity, rainbow road and cloud gazing – just some ideas for play in this series of Play Cards. Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – 17 downloadable play card resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19. 01 Drawing with chalk 02 Building

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Supporting Outdoor Play Provision

Supporting Outdoor Play Provision

This guide is designed to show you the range of possibilities when designing or developing high quality outdoor childcare provision. The list provides examples of practice combined with site-specific and appropriate design.

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Supporting Outdoor Childcare Provision A3 Guide

Supporting Outdoor Childcare Provision A3 Guide

This printable A3 guide is designed to show  the range of possibilities when designing or developing high quality outdoor childcare provision. The guide includes examples of practice combined with site-specific and appropriate design and covers: site & access,  shelter,  toilets & handwashing, eating, clothing and play material . You may also find the Outdoor ELC

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Spread your wings

Spread your wings

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Spread your wings How many different birds can you find in your local area…

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Scotland’s Coalition for Outdoor Play and Learning Position Statement

Scotland’s Coalition for Outdoor Play and Learning Position Statement

In 2018, we brought together a broad group of academics and organisations from education, childcare, healthcare, environment and government to create Scotland’s Outdoor Play and Learning Coalition. The Coalition created a bold position statement which committed signatories to working together to embed playing and learning outdoors as an everyday activity and a fundamental part of

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Practitioner Tips #2

Practitioner Tips #2

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Practitioner Tips #1

Practitioner Tips #1

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Play Ranger Toolkit

This Play Ranger Toolkit was developed using the experience and learning of Play Ranger charities supported by Thrive Outdoors, initially under its former name Go2Play. The Play Rangers project focused on providing opportunities for children to access free play within their community – on street corners, or in local parks or woodland. The toolkit is

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Play Champions Toolkit

This Play Champion Toolkit is designed to support partners working with Primary schools to engage in more activity that is playful within their school day. It outlines a programme, which play workers can use to support primary school children to become ‘leaders’ of play. It is designed for play charities working with schools, school staff

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Pine Cone Bird feeder

Pine Cone Bird feeder

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Pine Cone Bird Feeder   Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? Gather materials to make a pine cone feeder for your flying friends in the garden!

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Out to Play – creating outdoor play experiences for children: practical guidance

Out to Play – creating outdoor play experiences for children: practical guidance

This document is a step-by-step guide providing practical advice on how to access outdoors spaces, including land or forest areas owned by local authorities, private landowners or national bodies (such as the Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage) to create safe, nurturing and inspiring outdoor learning experiences.

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Nature scavenger hunt

Nature scavenger hunt

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Nature scavenger hunt What sort of treasure can you find outdoors?

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Nature Mandala

Nature Mandala

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Nature Mandala  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? What sort of treasures can you collect to make a stunning nature mandala with!

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Loose Parts Play Toolkit 2019 edition

Loose Parts Play Toolkit 2019 edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of the revised edition of the Loose Parts Play Toolkit. The updated Toolkit provides a greater focus on helping adults develop the skills to support inclusive, all-weather outdoor play in Scotland and encourage them to allow children to play in a less structured and more imaginative manner. Since

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Loose Parts Play Toolkit

Loose Parts Play Toolkit

Welcome to the second edition of the Loose Parts Play Toolkit. In this edition, we have tried to reflect the changing context. Loose parts for play are a more familiar sight, but their introduction is still providing a learning and development experience for adults and organisations, as much as for children. With this in mind,

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Leaf printing

Leaf printing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Leaf printing  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? A chance to get crafty with materials you have gathered outdoors! Collecting leaves of different shapes and colours is also a great opportunity to learn about

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Go2Play Outcome and Evaluation Framework

Download the original Go Play Outcome and Evaluation Framework, set out in 2011, which established the principles of Inspiring Scotland’s play programme.  The guide identifies ways that play organisations can realistically demonstrate their difference though the use of evidence and helps the play sector to identify common ground to assess how play organisations can have the

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Funders of Play 2018

Funders of Play 2018

This guide contains eligibility, priority and contact details of organisations funding not-for-profit and charitable organisations in Scotland. It has been complied for Inspiring Scotland’s Thrive Outdoors programme and therefore focusses on potential funders of play activities. Funders have been selected through a review of SCVO’s ‘Scottish Directory of Funding for Third Sector Organisations’ and a

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Fun in the Snow

Fun in the Snow

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Snow Activities  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? A chance to get outdoors and have some fun with these easy and simple snow themed activities.

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Free to Play: A guide to creating accessible and inclusive public play spaces

Free to Play: A guide to creating accessible and inclusive public play spaces is designed to ensure that all children and young people, including those with additional support needs, can exercise their right to play in their local communities. Written by play, children’s rights and inclusive play space experts, Theresa Casey and Harry Harbottle, the guide has

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Evaluation of Active Play in Glasgow by Blake Stevenson – Dec 2016

Read the independent evaluation by Blake Stevenson into the impact of Active Play in Glasgow. This report covers the first cohort of pupils to take part in the programme from August 2016 and was completed in December 2016.

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Drawing with chalk

Drawing with chalk

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Drawing with chalk Unleash your creative side…

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Cloud Gazing

Cloud Gazing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Cloud Gazing Take some time out to relax and watch the clouds. Here’s how.

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Bug Hunting

Bug Hunting

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Bug Hunting We know about going on a bear hunt. But what about a bug hunt…

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Active Play: Evaluation Report April 2016

Through our Go2Play Fund, we have invested in four play organisations to deliver an Active Play Programme targeting children in the more deprived areas of Scotland. The Active Play Programme uses play as a means to engage children in physical activity, and to build their skills, confidence and motivation to introduce greater physical activity into their

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Active Play Literature Review April 2016

This brief literature review by the University of Strathclyde PhD student Avril Johnstone provides the background literature to the evaluation of Inspiring Scotland’s Active Play Programme. The evaluation has the following research question: does the implementation of an active play programme improve physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills competency in children?

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Active Play Evaluation Summary

Active Play: Physical Activity by Stealth. Download a summary of independent evaluations & research into Active Play.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy – Part 2

A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy – Part 2

What is pedagogy? It’s in all the documents, but we are not really sure what it is… Pedagogy is defined as the study of the methods and activities of teaching – but how does this relate to your work as an outdoor play practitioner? And how on earth do you pronounce it? Find out more

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy

A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy

What is pedagogy? It’s in all the documents, but we are not really sure what it is… Pedagogy is defined as the study of the methods and activities of teaching – but how does this relate to your work as an outdoor play practitioner? And how on earth do you pronounce it? Find out more

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Spaces

A Practitioner’s Guide: Spaces

Is going outdoors like stepping into the unknown? Alastair Davidson shares his approach to establishing an outdoor space for use in the early years.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Play in Primary Schools

A Practitioner’s Guide: Play in Primary Schools

  It’s a Primary School takeover!  This week’s guest blogger is Natalie Campbell, Education and Outreach manager & Forest school manager at Earthtime who shares her top tips for incorporating Play in Primary Schools! Free play at any age or stage allows for opportunities to be creative, test and develop problem solving skills, build relationships

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Lets talk Cohorts

A Practitioner’s Guide: Lets talk Cohorts

  Are you interested in learning more about what forest school nursery involves?  and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience more outdoor play and learning…then our latest blog is for you! This week’s guest blogger is Zoe Sills, Nursery Manager at Earthtime Forest School Nursery. Zoe shares all her hints and tips

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Interactions

A Practitioner’s Guide: Interactions

  Interactions are where the powers of nature and human nature meet. Dr Lynn McNair of Cowgate Under 5s Centre in Edinburgh talks fish faces, strong air, and enjoying the magic of discovery in this week’s guide exploring child and adult interactions in the outdoor environment.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Home-Schooling Ideas for Outdoor Learning

A Practitioner’s Guide: Home-Schooling Ideas for Outdoor Learning

  Taking home-schooling outdoors! Top Tips for Incorporating Outdoor learning into your home-schooling schedule! Once again we all find ourselves in the midst of another lockdown with the prospect of becoming ‘teacher’ as well as parent again seeming rather daunting to many of us. But fear not the Thrive Outdoors team are on hand with

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting started with Bushcraft

A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting started with Bushcraft

  Its a Scout leader takeover!  This week’s guest blogger is Ignacio Luna Borras – Scout leader and founder of Earth Nature Adventures who shares his hints and tips on getting started with Bushcraft  and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience more outdoor learning and the chance to connect more deeply with

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting Started

A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting Started

  Are you a nursery looking to do more outdoor play but aren’t sure where to start? This week’s guest blogger is Vicki Shiels, manager of the Waterfront Nursery in Edinburgh. The Waterfront team have recently started on an exciting new outdoor adventure and this blog shares some of their first steps and tips to

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Foraging

A Practitioner’s Guide: Foraging

Are you worried you don’t know your edible mushrooms from your less ‘savoury’ kind? Are you just not sure what it is or where to start? We asked a couple of foraging experts, Hamish from Baltic Street Adventure Playground and to Zoe at Earthtime for foraging know-how!

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Flexi-schooling Fun

A Practitioner’s Guide: Flexi-schooling Fun

  Are you a parent or carer interested in learning more about flexi-schooling and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience outdoor play and learning…then our latest blog is for you! This week’s guest blogger is Gemma Craigie-Sharland, Performance and Impact advisor here at Inspiring Scotland featuring her daughter.Gemma shares more on what

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Experiences

A Practitioner’s Guide: Experiences

  The third of a series exploring the Play Pedagogy shared principles;  interactions, spaces and experiences. We know that learning experiences provided in the earliest months and years in a child’s life are critical for their future success in life – here are a few key experiences that can make a big impact on the development

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Childminder Takeover 1

A Practitioner’s Guide: Childminder Takeover 1

  Are you a childminder looking to do more outdoor play but aren’t sure where to start? Childminder extraordinaire Emma Smith is this week’s guest blogger, revealing her secrets to embracing and enjoying every opportunity to get outside. It’s a childminder takeover!  

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Animal antics

A Practitioner’s Guide: Animal antics

We would love to have animals at our setting, we’re just not sure where to start. We asked practitioners who have pets on their site just how they manage…

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A Practitioners’ Guide: ‘We can’t live without’

A Practitioners’ Guide: ‘We can’t live without’

What are the top must-have tips for Outdoor ELC? We asked outdoor practitioners from across the country for their ultimate all time TOP TIP. For tips that save your socks and your sanity, look no further!

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A practitioner’s guide: What to wear for children

A practitioner’s guide: What to wear for children

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – I’m starting Outdoor Nursery, what should I wear?” Being outside is so exciting, there is just so much to explore! But what should a mud-exploring little adventurer wear for outdoor nursery/forest kindergarten?  This guide takes a closer look at

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Top 20 tips of 2020

A Practitioner’s Guide: Top 20 tips of 2020

  It was amazing to see how outdoor play and learning was fully embraced this year in spite of all the challenges. We all realised just how important the outdoors is- not just for our children but for the WHOLE family. As we face yet more restrictions at the start of the new year –

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A practitioner’s guide: Tarp Tips

A practitioner’s guide: Tarp Tips

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Tarp is one of the best bits of kit for Outdoor ELC?? What can I do with it??” A tarp is one of the most useful resources in a practitioner’s backpack and is one of our essential pieces of kit for

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A practitioner’s guide: Outdoor ELC Can’t or won’t?

A practitioner’s guide: Outdoor ELC Can’t or won’t?

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – I know I should be outside, but I’m stuck” Taking the first steps to learning about the outdoors can be a bit daunting and some of us  simply haven’t got the ‘outdoors’ bug.  This guide is here to help

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A practitioner’s guide: Knots and Ropes

A practitioner’s guide: Knots and Ropes

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help! How do tie knots and what rope do I use?” Tying knots can get us into a real tangle. They can look so…complicated. Never fear, our on the ground practitioners tell us that just five knots can cover most situations

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A practitioner’s guide: Handsfree handwashing

A practitioner’s guide: Handsfree handwashing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – What is a tippy tap?” How can you make handwashing handsfree? Follow this guide to making your own tippy tap.

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A practitioner’s guide: Five Minute Fires

A practitioner’s guide: Five Minute Fires

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – Everyone’s talking about fires but how do you actually build one?” For a fire first timer, building a fire outdoors can be scary. The good news is, by following a few simple steps you too can enjoy the benefits

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A practitioner’s guide to What to Wear

A practitioner’s guide to What to Wear

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Help – We have no idea what to wear outdoors The right clothing is key to ensuring that time outdoors with children is as enjoyable as possible. A little planning and thought can prevent us from being distracted and/or miserable due

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A practitioner’s guide to handwashing

A practitioner’s guide to handwashing

Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play.

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A practitioner’s guide to hand drying

A practitioner’s guide to hand drying

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Help! – How do we dry hands, kill germs and save the planet? Cleanliness of hands after washing is a priority, so how important is hand drying, in achieving clean hands? The transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from

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A practitioner’s guide to  Shelter

A practitioner’s guide to Shelter

Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. One of the most frequently asked questions in outdoor ELC is, what happens when it rains? The perfect solution to any Scottish weather is to get the children motivated and build yourselves a shelter. This guide covers popular techniques from pallet and

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16 Rainbow road

16 Rainbow road

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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15 Helicopter

15 Helicopter

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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14 Croquet

14 Croquet

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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13 Footgolf

13 Footgolf

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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12 Nature activity: Birds

12 Nature activity: Birds

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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11 Nature activity: Bugs

11 Nature activity: Bugs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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10 Cups and Downs

10 Cups and Downs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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09 8 Steps to Heaven

09 8 Steps to Heaven

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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08 Islands and sharks

08 Islands and sharks

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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07 Kangaroos and frogs

07 Kangaroos and frogs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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06 Crazy races

06 Crazy races

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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05 Be a bean

05 Be a bean

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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04 Den Building

04 Den Building

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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03 Mask Making

03 Mask Making

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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02 Building with twigs and sticks

02 Building with twigs and sticks

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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“Physical activity levels are far too low” – children’s health & well-being in Canada & Scotland

Dr. Mark Tremblay of HALO Research and Prof. John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde discuss childhood inactivity levels in Canada and Scotland from the Active Healthy Kids Report Card 2016 – one of the reasons we strive for physically active outdoor play for all of Scotland’s children.

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“It’s safer outdoors than in indoors.”

Dr. Mark Tremblay of Canada’s HALO Research talks to Prof. John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde and Rachel Cowper of Inspiring Scotland about how, counter to to popular belief, it is safer for children to be outdoors than indoors. This video is part of a series on the health crisis faced by young children

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