“Leisure” is defined as involvement in activities that we do in our discretionary recreational time, before or after work or other duties. For children and youth, these voluntary activities typically include active-physical activities, social, skill-based, self-improvement or other recreational activities.
Through participation in leisure activities, children practice skill competencies, develop their own personal identity, and peer relationships and friendships are fostered. Engagement in leisure activities promotes community integration and is important for physical and mental health and well-being.
Leisure activities near you
Research About Leisure
Although participation in leisure is influenced by multiple factors related to the child, family and environment that are not all necessarily amenable to change, this information can help professionals predict which children and adolescents are at higher risk for low involvement in leisure activities. With this information, professionals can provide support according to each individuals unique situation to promote greater participation in leisure activities and therefore lead healthier lifestyles.
A search was conducted in the scientific literature to identify the different variables that influence children and youth with disabilities to participate in leisure activities. Children that continuously receive rehabilitation are more likely to participate in activities. Authors reported that age, gender, gross motor function, manual ability, cognitive ability, and communicative skills, are the most important variables effecting youths’ participation in leisure activities.
There is much evidence that participation of children and youth with disabilities in leisure activities is limited and restricted compared to their developing peers. If schools and communities provided more information, support and accessible activities, children and youth with disabilities would participate in more activities and therefore have a better quality of life.
Websites about leisure
This website provides predictors of what causes limitations to participating in leisure activities.
The aim of this newsletter is to publicize the latest investigations and studies to help the situation of disabled people and promoting social participation.
LIN is charged with the responsibility of designing, managing, and maintaining the National Recreation Database (NRDB) for intergovernmental, public good, research and access purposes.
Participation Knowledge Hub is an online website that provides useful information to children, parents and service providers with the goal to promote the participation of children and youth in leisure activities. On the website one can find research summaries, success stories, tips for increased participation and tools to measure participation.
Other Leisure Resources
Hand Over Hand Community Organization is dedicated to fostering a community where people with disabilities feel safe, accepted, and supported through peer networks. They provide social and recreational services for youth in the Toronto and York regions, and have a pen-pal program and a parent support group.
An organization with different sports and community programs for persons with physical disabilities. (Website in French)
A website where you can search for accessible businesses, restaurants, and hotels.
An organization that promotes tourism and culture for people with restricted physical abilities.
Rick Hansen provides useful information to set up and design accessible and safe play spaces for youths with disabilities. This website links to toolkits that help guide through the process of creating a safe and accessible play spaces.
Rick Hansen School program provides resources for teachers, students and administrators to increase accessibility, inclusion, and disability awareness. As well, these resources help to promote adolescents in making a difference in their school, community and world regardless of any disability.
An online website that provides parents, service providers, administrations, schools etc. with useful information and guidelines to design and implement play that is accessible to all.
The St Louis Children’s Hospital has developed an adapted summer camp (Camp Independence) that integrates standardized assessments, and opportunities to engage in several adapted sports.