The purpose of this study was to describe the daily activities of Canadian children outside of school. Participants were parents of N = 189 children (90 boys, 99 girls) in grades 1 to 3. The What Your Child Did Today parental telephone interview protocol was developed as a daily log of both the type and social context of children’s activities. Among the results, children spent almost half of their waking time in unstructured activities (e.g. free play), compared to 14 percent of on-screen, and 6 percent in structured activities (e.g. sports). Children spent about two-thirds of their time in the company of family followed by peers (22%), and only 10 percent of time was spent alone. Some gender differences were also noted (e.g. boys engaged in more screen time) and parental education was related to time spent in structured activities. Results are discussed in terms of implications for children’s socio-emotional development.

Canada, child development, families, free play, friendship, young children
Journal of Early Childhood Research
Department of Psychology

Archbell, K.A. (Kristen A), Coplan, R, & Rose-Krasnor, L. (Linda). (2020). What did your child do today? Describing young children’s daily activities outside of school. Journal of Early Childhood Research. doi:10.1177/1476718X19898724