HELP Talks Making Space for Outdoor Play

Thursday, February 27th, 2020
9:30am to 12:00pm
In Person  Michael Smith Laboratories Lecture Theatre, Room 102
Vancouver Campus - UBC
2185 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada 
Webcast -

Play is essential to children’s health and well-being and we are excited to, once again, dive deep into this important topic this time with a focus on outdoor play.  Join us Thursday, February 27th, as we host Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Amber Fyfe-Johnson and Anita Bundy as they share the latest research related to the importance of children’s outdoor play for health and development and share strategies for supporting outdoor play.

Our February HELP Talks hosts are Dr. Eva Oberle, Assistant Professor, HELP, SPPH, UBC and Dr. Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor, SPPH, Faculty of Medicine, UBC and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.

Please RSVP and ask questions you may have to Maria Roser at

Our Guest Speakers

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Professor, Department of Physical Education and Health, Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education (QMUC) in Trondheim, Norway

Developing physical outdoor environments in early childhood education and care: How to promote children’s play, well-being, involvement and physical activity

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter’s primary research focus is on children’s physical play, outdoor play, and risky/thrilling play among children in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) institutions, as well as how to develop physical environments for children’s play, development and learning. She has also been involved in research on Norwegian children’s experiences of participation and well-being in Norwegian ECEC institutions, and projects about safety work, child injuries and injury prevention in Norwegian ECEC institutions.


Amber Fyfe-Johnson, ND, PhD, Assistant Research Professor at the Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University.

Nature preschool: A potential approach for childhood obesity prevention

Dr. Fyfe-Johnson completed her ND at Bastyr University, followed by a 3-year clinical residency in pediatrics, and her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include childhood obesity prevention, health disparities in youth, and the impact of nature and outdoor play on health outcomes in children.


Anita Bundy, ScD, OT/L, FAOTA, FOTARA, Professor and Department Head in Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University and honorary appointment at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Parents’ Tolerance of Risky Play Is Related to Children’s Performance on a Virtual Street-Crossing Task

Anita Bundy’s primary research interests are in measuring and promoting children’s play and manageable risk taking. Toward that end, she developed three assessments: the Test of Playfulness (ToP), the Test of Environmental Supportiveness (TOES) and the Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale (TRiPS). In Sydney, Bundy headed a large multidisciplinary team examining a two-part intervention to increase physical activity, coping, and play by: (1) placing recycled materials on school playgrounds, and (2) helping adults reframe risk-taking  as a necessary and beneficial part of development. 


HELP Talks are HELP faculty led events that focus on a particular area of human development from a research-to-practice perspective. Each HELP Talk explores a particular research area or idea, allowing us to think about child development from a range of angles and to engage in conversation and learning with a variety of academic and community partners.