Pause to Play

Put down those screens and get active outdoors – it’s time for the 2020 pause to PLAY Challenge!

Running from April 20 to April 24, the annual pause to PLAY Challenge encourages students to put their TVs, gaming devices, tablets, cell phones, and computers on pause and become more physically active.

This year’s pause to PLAYChallenge encourages students to get active outdoors by providing educators with curriculum-matched resources for outdoor activities.

Exercise that gets your heart rate up has many health benefits. Being active for at least 60 minutes daily can help children to:

• Improve their physical and mental health

• Do better in school

• Improve their fitness, grow stronger and maintain a healthy body weight

• Have fun playing with friends and feel happier

• Learn new skills and improve self confidence

• Alleviate social and academic stress

Also, students who spend time in nature have been shown to improve academically, have better attention spans, are more physically active, and are better able to cope with everyday life. Nature can also help develop a child’s core observation and problem solving skills.

How Parents/Guardians can help:

Limit screen time - Screen time should be limited to two hours a day for children ages five to 17; however, over 75 per cent of children are not meeting this recommendation.

Eat together - Use mealtimes as a time to talk about your day or plan an activity you will do as a family when you are done eating. Turn screens off during meals —make meal time family time.

Offer fun alternatives to screen time - Often children watch screens because they don’t know what else to do. If you want your child to turn off the screen, suggest playing a board game, starting a game of hide and seek or playing outside. You  could also stock rooms with a TV, computer or other devices with non-screen entertainment (books, toys, puzzles, board games, etc.).

For more information, visit, or email or the York Region Public Health School Services at


To register a class, please visit the Registration Link​. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, March 31, 2020.