Date(s) and Time(s)
Lethbridge College

The Early Childhood Education program is hosting a symposium focused on the challenges and opportunities for children’s outdoor play in Alberta. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

By invitation only. For more information, contact or call 403-329-7254.


Christine Alden has been a program director with the Lawson Foundation in the areas of early child development and healthy active living since 2012. She is leading the $2.7 million national outdoor play strategy for the Foundation, which aims to increase children’s opportunities for self-directed outdoor play in all settings – at home, in child care, the community and nature.

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and an investigator with BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit. Mariana investigates child injury prevention, including developmental importance of children’s risky play.

Mr. Peter McCracken is the regional manager – Fundy Region, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Communities, Sport and Recreation Division.

Dr. Beverlie Dietze is the director of Learning and Applied Research at Okanagan College. She was the lead researcher for the Nova Scotia model and is now involved in both a national and a local research project that is examining strategies to advance children’s outdoor play through training and space design.

Bora Kim was a co-researcher on the East Hants Outdoor Play Project and is a present faculty member in the Early Childhood Education program at Lethbridge College.

Cheryl Hatten is a faculty member in the Early Childhood Education program at Lethbridge College and was involved in the Lawson Foundation applied research project on outdoor play.

Tobi Horon is the owner/director of Hands On Early Learning Centre and is involved in the outdoor play initiatives at Lethbridge College.


8:30 to 8:45 a.m. Arrival and networking
8:45 to 9 a.m. Welcome from Lethbridge College President Dr. Paula Burns
9 to 9:15 a.m. Overview of the day by Samantha Lenci
9:15 to 10 a.m. Christine Alden - A Vision for Outdoor Play
10 to 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 to 11 a.m. Dr. Mariana Brussoni - Risky Play and Why Children Need it
11 a.m. to noon Group discussion
Noon to 1 p.m Lunch
1 to 1:45 p.m. Peter McCracken, Dr. Beverlie Dietze and Bora Kim - A Nova Scotia Training Model  
1:45 to 2:15 p.m.   Cheryl Hatten, Bora Kim, Tobi Horon - Leading and Visioning Outdoor Play from a Lethbridge College Perspective
2:15 to 2:30 p.m. Break
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Group discussion
3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Panel discussion with keynote speakers - Moving the Outdoor Play Agenda Forward
4:15 to 4:30 p.m. Wrap up