|Stage 1: Title/ Abstract Screening|
|Article type||Original research published in peer-reviewed academic journals.||Conceptual or theoretical papers, opinion pieces, reviews.|
Typically developing children or early adolescents with a mean age between 5 and 14 years.|
Adults with a role relevant to children in the school setting (e.g. teachers, yard duty supervisors, principals, school administrators, school nurses, parents). The aim of the research must be to explore adults’ behaviour and/or perceptions in relation to children’s active play and/or risky play in schools.
Children older or younger than the age range specified.|
Children with a medically diagnosed condition e.g. asthma, autism, epilepsy, intellectual disability, immune disorder etc.
Adults’ perceptions of PE, active lessons, structured recess or children’s active play or risky play outside of school.
|Study setting||Elementary or middle school (or equivalent) settings||Before- or after-school programs, early childhood programs, high schools.|
|Context||Recess: defined as “the non-curriculum time allocated by schools between lessons for youth to engage in leisure activities” (, p.3).||Structured classroom activity breaks, active lessons, physical education classes, outdoor education programs, outdoor learning.|
Active play or risky play:|
Active play: defined as “a form of gross motor or total body movement in which children exert energy in a freely chosen, fun, and unstructured manner” (, p.164).
Risky play: defined as “thrilling and exciting forms of play that involve uncertainty and a risk of physical injury” (, p.22).
In recognition of the wide variation in the literature for terms pertaining to children’s play, the following alternative terms were included: outdoor play, free play, unstructured play, physical activity during play, unstructured physical activity, child play, challenging play, and adventurous play.
|Structured-play, structured-recess programs such as walking interventions, teacher-organised recess activities.|
Original research employing at least one qualitative research method such as focus groups, observation, or walking interviews.|
Mixed methods studies were included if data from the qualitative components could be extracted and analysed independently of the quantitative results.
|Quantitative research methods e.g. experimental, quasi-experimental, cross-sectional and cohort studies.|
|Stage 2: Full-Text Screening|
|Risk or safety outcome||
Safety or risk-related findings or themes in relation to children’s active play and/or risky play.|
Risk: defined as “the effect of uncertainty (whether positive or negative) on objectives” .
Safety: defined as “a state in which hazards and conditions leading to physical, psychological or material harm are controlled in order to preserve the health and well-being of individuals and the community” . Notably this definition includes both physical and psychological safety.
|Study findings relating to safety and risk in schools that is not directly related to active play or risky play, such as: gun violence, soil or air pollution, microbial infections.|
|Stage 3: Full-Text Screening|
|Outcome data is contextually thick||
Risk and safety findings must be contextually thick.|
Contextually thick descriptions identify both an ‘issue’ (e.g. a risk or safety finding in play) and its context, and the context provides the social or cultural meaning to the issue, thereby aiding it’s symbolic importance and understanding .
Risk or safety findings are contextually thin, due to:|
1. Scope: multiple conditions or setting domains investigated; 2. Outcome data reported too brief; 3. Method: Questionnaire within insufficient qualitative data; 4. Process evaluation reporting of intervention or outcomes with thinly described data; 5. Ethnographic reporting method where ‘findings’ cannot be differentiated from the remainder of the article; 6. Method: relevant data limited to children’s drawings without children’s own description of meaning
|Stage 4: Full-Text Screening|
|Population: adults||Adults with a role relevant to children in the school setting (e.g. teachers, yard duty supervisors, principals, school administrators, parents). Studies where both children and adults were participants were included if data relating to adult participants could be extracted and analysed independently of the child participants.||Children or early adolescents only|