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Canadian Public Health Association


7 C’s To Designing Play Spaces, Vancouver, British Columbia

The 7 C’s are a play space design approach that incorporates character, context, connectivity, change, chance, clarity, and challenge into the built environment. The approach was developed with the vision that encouraging children to engage with natural materials will benefit well-being.

Researchers have used the 7 C’s play space design criteria to examine the effects of increased opportunities for nature and risky play in the outdoor play environments of two childcare centres using a repeated measures mixed methods design. They measured changes in play, social behaviour, psychological well-being, and physical activity in 45 children aged 2-5. While most study principles assess the presence or absence of features, the 7 C’s are unique in assessing the quality of the design.


  • Improved socialization
  • Improved problem-solving
  • Improved focus
  • Improved self-regulation
  • Greater creativity
  • Decreases in depressed affect
  • Greater play with natural materials
  • Increased independent play
  • Increased prosocial behavior
  • Reduced antisocial behavior
  • Increased physical activity
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced boredom
  • Fewer injury experiences

Risk-Reframing Tool, Vancouver, British Columbia

The goal of the risk-reframing tool is to provide an easily accessible, evidence-based measure to reshape parental attitudes towards risk. The tool is a two-hour, in-person group session in which parents and educators are led through a series of reflection points designed to change attitudes and behaviours related to children’s outdoor play.

It was developed to decrease anxiety-led caregiving, and misconceptions of risk being inherently negative and without benefit. It is delivered to parents under the belief that societal attitudes about injury and harm for children shape parental perspectives and fears of their children’s outdoor risky play activities. There is also a digital version of the tool available.  The workshop version of the tool provides various materials on the goals that are accessible through PowerPoint, a facilitator and participant manual.


The tool addresses and reframes parents’ perspectives on risk. It is easily suited to ongoing curriculums, while the digital format allows accessibility and smooth dissemination for those wishing to use it. Parents can learn more about the benefits of children’s risky play, which may shift parental perspectives on risk towards one of having both benefits and costs. The tool can play a role in shaping parents’ perspectives on their children’s outdoor risky play.


Brussoni, M., Ishikawa, T., Han, C., Pike, I., Bundy, A., Faulkner, G., & Mâsse, L. C., (2018). Go Play Outside! Effects of a risk-reframing tool on mothers’ tolerance for, and parenting practices associated with, children’s risky play: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 19(1), 173.

Jooay App, Montréal, Québec

The Jooay App helps parents, youth and other users find leisure and community activities close to where they live for children and youth with disabilities aged 0-21 years old.  The App allows the user to rate and comment on activities, create a community, and build networks around adapted and inclusive leisure opportunities. The goal is to provide an accurate, comprehensive list of activities in all provinces, and have users engaged in the Jooay community to review activities and support each other. In the process, the aim is to identify optimal dissemination strategies about health information through social network analysis, and conduct research about how to increase participation by providing information through mobile-health solutions. A final goal is to identify resource gaps across regions to provide evidence-based information to policy-makers.

The Jooay App was launched in Spring 2015 in response to research showing that the lack of access to information about inclusive leisure activities was a major barrier to participation for children with disabilities and their families. The app is now available for iPhone, Android, and the web, and currently lists over 1,500 adapted leisure activities in all 10 Canadian provinces, and has recently been implemented in Australia.


In the last year, the number of activities on the Jooay App has doubled and the number of registered users increased to over 2,000. Parents of children with disabilities find new leisure opportunities through the App for their children. Clinicians (occupational, physical, and recreational therapists), as well as physical educators and community programs can help families identify the best activities for their clients and students. The base number of users is growing, and more than 50% of users come back to the App regularly. Parents in the online community have stated that it is a practical solution that provides great ideas and supportive comments to adapted leisure, sports, and other resources in general.


More about Jooay   @JooayApp

Last modified: January 25, 2019