When was the last time that you ran on a field, jumped in the air, kicked a ball, climbed a tree or swam? Was it easy or hard? Did you think about the skills needed to accomplish the task or just do it?.
Learning these fundamental skills are an important part of childhood. If you can’t swim then you will more than likely not participate in any water sports. Recently there has been a lot of focus on “Physical Literacy”. You’re probably thinking “What’s that?” Well, Physical Literacy is about learning the fundamental movements such as running, jumping, kicking, climbing, throwing, hopping and even swimming. These fundamental movements will help children develop skills; to be active;to participate in competitive sport (if they desire); and to play games throughout their childhood, youth and into adulthood. Yes, parents also need these fundamental movements in order to participate in activites.
Learning these skills will develop their physical play, help them improve their social skills by participating in games with others, and increase their level of self confidence as they accomplish a goal such as kicking a ball with their left foot instead of their right. Being able to run, jump, kick or swim can lead your child down a path of physical activity for life providing a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
There are many ways you can help your child become more physically literate. You can start by:
- Being active with your child which can create fun memories for you both.
- Use resources such as Active for Life that can help you learn more about what activities are best for certain age groups
- Focus less on perfecting the activity and more on learning the basics or fundamentals.
- Get outside with a plan to learn a new activity together.
- Use age – appropriate equipment, i.e. teaching a preschooler to catch a tennis ball is going to be harder than teaching them how to catch a beach ball, which is lighter and bigger for their little arms.
Above all, the main thing to remember is to go out and have fun with your child, and enjoy the memories you are creating. Don’t worry about them being an all-start athlete! 🙂
What are your thoughts on Physical Literacy?
Do you think it’s important to learn the basics?