Learn More!


About us

Out to Play Children’s Programs are undeniably a community creation with the first steps taken by Lara Purvis, and so many hands pitching in since then.

Lara is a qualified teacher with a BA in Child Studies and a BEd in Primary Junior education, and an MA in Global Development. Lara completed her Forest and Nature School Practitioners certificate, and worked for the Child and Nature Alliance as an educator and writer. Lara was the Lead Educator at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School, before founding Out to Play Children’s Programs. 

Lara believes in the magic of Story, power of play and the simplicity of connecting on the land together to support the mental health of children, families and communities.

Stay tuned to meet more of the team!


Help us broaden access to outdoor play!

Out to Play is a fledgling organization and we’ll need help finding our footing over 2021 to be able to offer more subsidized spaces to more communities in 2022. Do you want to get involved?

Work with us! Out to Play hires educators from a variety of backgrounds including ECEs, Ontario College of Teachers, Forest and Nature School Practitioners and Outdoor Educators. Our team commits time to training, mentorship and reflection. New job postings can be found here.

Volunteer! Out to Play welcomes volunteers supporting play on the land and in farm and building projects. Please email us to inquire.

Donate Supplies! Out to Play is grateful for donations of books and outdoor gear for children. Books can be purchased through Octopus Books. We welcome books that show a diversity of families and ways of being. We’d also gratefully accept your gently used rainpants, rain jackets, socks, base layers, snowsuits and mittens. Good outdoor gear is expensive and being able to offer a gear library is one way we can make outdoor play more accessible.

Partner with us! Out to Play welcomes partnerships with teachers, schools, childcare centres and community health centres to offer quality play-based programming to the children and families that you serve. We’d love to hear from you.

Got an idea that you don’t see here? Email us at outtoplayottawa@gmail.com


Organizations we stand alongside

Stay tuned. We’re connecting with the organizations we love and respect to ask their permission to share their logos and work with you here.

The Child and Nature Alliance of Canada

Raven Reads, Indigenous subscription box that features award-winning Indigenous content and literature 

Resources for educators, parents and like-minded folks

Risk Benefit Assessment for Outdoor Play: A Canadian Toolkit
A Position Statement: Children’s Unstructured Play
The Necessity of Urban Greenspace: A UNICEF Study
Resources and tools for ECE’s, teachers, and social service providers in supporting outdoor connection by CNAC.
Position Statement on Outdoor Active Play

A note about our photographs
The photos in this website are taken from free stock photography. They were chosen because they depict children connecting with the land, each other and themselves. We know representation matters. All our programs include a photo consent and our website will soon have updated photos from our programs depicting the diverse communities that are outside and playing on the land.

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