Did you know that 63% of Canadian children's free time is spent being inactive? Let's change the narrative!

HIGH FIVE® is a nationwide community program

We focus on health, education, sports, recreation and empower overall mental health and development of children through evidence-based approaches.

Building Bright Futures with quality standard children’s program since 2001.


HIGH FIVE® is Canada’s quality standard for recreation and leisure programs. We provide recreation professionals and organizations with the tools and training they need to run successful, best-in-class programs that truly honour the children they serve. We offer:

The five Principles of healthy child development

HIGH FIVE® is based on five Principles of healthy child development that are essential for quality programs. Each principle is established after extensive research and their practical application in real-life scenarios. Furthermore, HIGH FIVE plays a crucial role in mitigating risks by keeping the child quality programs standardized, thereby minimizing potential legal liabilities.

A Caring Leader

The existence of a caring leader who provides supportive relationships is the one key attribute that stood out in defining quality programs for children. The establishment of caring, positive, and supportive relationships with adults can help children 4 to 12 develop positive social skills, self-esteem, and self confidence. A program’s quality is dependent upon effective interactions between staff and youth within the environment that staff creates.


Positive peer interaction is a key component of effective programs. Friends expand the child’s world beyond one’s family; share in humour; test loyalty; form their first audience; and offer support and criticism. Positive environments foster inclusion, acceptance, the opportunity for fun in constructive play, and the opportunity to develop and practice pro-social skills.


Children need to make choices, have a voice, and do things by and for themselves, which supports positive self-expression, physical activity, and interaction with others.


Stressing fun, creativity, and co-operation, play lets children shape their environment using their imaginations. In addition, play is integral to the acquisition and development of motor and social skills, cognitive function, and creativity.


Providing children with activities and tasks that enable them to feel special, important, and successful. This type of rich content-based learning, led by teachers and coaches who encourage mastery (both through structured and unstructured strategies) helps to promote learning.

+ , ,000

Children being positively affected across the country


Certified trainers with verified background checks


Registered Organizations


of organizations report positive impact on kids


of organizations recognize healthy development & power of play for kids


parents are satisfied after enrolling their kids in HIGH FIVE® programs


A holistic program that goes beyond training recreation professionals; it equips organizations with program assessment tools, policies, procedures, and resources.

HIGH FIVE® evolved over time, encompassing more than just recreation. It now includes training and guidelines for mental health, competitive sport programs, and healthy aging.

Provides healthy child development through positive sport and recreation experiences. Educates the sector on the emotional, social and cognitive needs of kids.

Offers comprehensive, nationally recognized training/certification programs in the sports and recreation industry.


The experiences of each and every child is the foundation of HIGH FIVE®'s success as a quality standard. The thoughts, statements, experiences, and perspectives of recreation and sport professionals can be some of the strongest living proof for why HIGH FIVE® works.

Chris Hallett

Community Matters Toronto

Our staff have enthusiastically embraced the HIGH FIVE Principles and have put a great deal of energy into their training and its application in all of our programming. We see evidence of the success of HIGH FIVE every day in so many of our St. James Town kids.

The HIGH FIVE experience has been so positive to both kids and staff in our community and we are very appreciative of the opportunities it has provided.

Dr. Peter Jensen

Sport Psychology Expert, Canadian Olympic Team

It is so easy to get caught up in competition and lose sight of the overall objective. HIGH FIVE, and other organizations that work with children, who are really interested in development of children, really remind us that this is what we’re here to do.

Dr. Colin Higgs

Canadian Long-Term Athlete Development Expert Group

Creating a link between a caring adult and a child is an incredibly important part of effective human development. Where we’ve got HIGH FIVE and its quality controls, we have a greater assurance that what is being done with the child is developmentally appropriate.

Sarah Gallsworthy

Program Coordinator, Sunnybrook RBC First Office for Injury Prevention

Through HIGH FIVE® Sport our staff have learned the importance of healthy child development and the understanding around the social, emotional and mental health needs of every child in a sport and recreation environment. It ensures that our front line leaders have knowledge and compassion when working with children aged 6 to 12yrs.

Dustin Hopkins

Coach Development Manager, Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is committed to promoting the growth and development of junior and age grade rugby players across Canada in a manner which not only develops physical literacy but also emotional, social and cognitive skills. Rugby Canada is therefore proud to endorse the HIGH FIVE® standard by becoming an Umbrella Organization and is excited to work with its provincial unions to develop coaches with a high level of knowledge and expertise in child development.