ABSTRACT Unstructured play is fundamental for healthy child development. Research indicates that racialized children participate less in outdoor play. Limited access to outdoor spaces restricts play for Black children. This study used Critical Race and BlackCrit Theories to understand how outdoor risky play is accessed and perceived by African Nova Scotian (ANS) parents and Early Childhood Educators (ECE). Caregivers (8 ECEs and 7 parents) of ANS children aged five and under participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of the data revealed the systemic issues restricting outdoor risky play opportunities for Black children. Hesitancy about allowing children to engage in risky play for fear of injury as well as over-surveillance were identified challenges. Additionally, access to outdoor play infrastructure was limited within many historic ANS communities. Systemic anti-Blackness influences children’s engagement in risky play limiting resources impacting play (e.g. infrastructure, safe neighbourhoods) for young African Nova Scotians.

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