Research into the importance of nature play, learning outdoors, risk-taking and children's mental and physical health and wellbeing forms the basis for the work we do.

Here you'll find the latest scientific research that shows the benefits of nature play for our children!

Use the Search function, or click on a keyword in Resource Categories to find research about a particular subject.

Urban nature and physical activity: Investigating associations using self-reported and accelerometer data and the role of household income

Physical inactivity is a major public health concern. Natural, or semi-natural, environments may encourage physical activity, but the influences of socio-economic factors have been under-researched.

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How combinations of recreational activities predict connection to nature among youth

Connection to nature (CTN) can help promote environmental engagement requisite for addressing extreme environmental challenges. Current generations, however, may be less connected to nature than previous ones. Spending time in nature can counter this disconnect, particularly among children.

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Father-child play: A systematic review of its frequency, characteristics and potential impact on children’s development

Highlights • Fathers spend a large proportion of their time with their children engaging in play. • This is often in the form of physical play such as rough and tumble. • Fathers’ play frequency increases from infancy and declines as children reach school age. • Early father-infant play is linked to positive social, emotional […]

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An evidence report on Covid-19 and children’s play

This report summarises emerging evidence on the effects of play restrictions in terms of a) reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the population and b) the detriments to children resulting from the restrictions.

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Higher parental stress linked to low screen-time enforcement, research finds

When parents are under stress, household rules about screen time often get abandoned, new University of Guelph research finds. A first of its kind in Canada, the study found parents of young children reporting high levels of life or parenting stress were less likely to monitor and limit their kids’ screen use and more likely […]

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Social media, nature, and life satisfaction: global evidence of the biophilia hypothesis

Humans may have evolved a need to connect with nature, and nature provides substantial cultural and social values to humans. However, quantifying the connection between humans and nature at a global scale remains challenging.

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Parental Screen Use and Effect on Children – Association of Parental and Contextual Stressors With Child Screen Exposure and Child Screen Exposure Combined With Feeding

Are individual and contextual stressors associated with the use and duration of screen time and screen time combined with food in children aged 7 to 18 months?

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Infant and Adult Brains Are Coupled to the Dynamics of Natural Communication

Infancy is the foundational period for learning from adults, and the dynamics of the social environment have long been considered central to children’s development.

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Girls who are more physically active in childhood may have better lung function in adolescence

A study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by “la Caixa,” has for the first time demonstrated an association between regular physical activity during childhood and higher lung-function values in adolescent girls.

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Associations of extracurricular physical activity patterns and body composition components in a multi-ethnic population of UK children (the Size and Lung Function in Children study): a multilevel modelling analysis

Abstract: Background Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common outcome when assessing associations between childhood overweight and obesity and physical activity patterns. However, the fat and fat-free components of BMI, measured by the Fat Mass Index (FMI) and Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI), may show contrasting associations with physical activity, while ethnic groups may vary in both […]

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