Physical Activity

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Development & Physical Literacy

Providing your child with many opportunities to move and be active during play is a very important part of healthy development, and will help your child develop physical literacy. 

The International Physical Literacy Association (2014) identifies physical literacy as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. Physical literacy plays a critical part in how an individual’s health develops, and sets the stage for a healthy active future.

Check out this 3 minute video about the basics of physical literacy.

Skill development should focus on the ABC’s – Agility, Balance, Co-ordination.  The goal is to ensure your child is having fun while you also help them to learn basic movement skills.  This will also prepare them for more complex movements as they get older.  Physical literacy skills can be learned by both structured play (activities that are planned, guided and usually led by an adult), and unstructured play (activities with no rules and the child decides on their own what to do). 

Every child is a little different, but knowing what movement skills to expect (e.g. gross motor and fine motor skills) at a specific age will help.  See what the Canadian Pediatric Society says about what to expect for your child’s development.

For a list of activity ideas that help to develop physical literacy skills at different ages see Active for Life – Raising Physically Literate Kids


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