Physical literacy is developing the fundamental movement skills that all children need.
Skills that are the foundational movements or precursor patterns, to the more specialised and complex skills used in play, games, specific sports, and all other physical activities.
Children learn from their interactions and from an early age.
In order for students to be successful in this area they need positive fun interactions and to be guided by the adults in their lives. Be active with your children and invest time into their development. Spend time together doing physical activities that your child enjoys doing. Telling them to go outside to play isn’t enough. Just sending them outside to play is like handing a child a book without providing them with the necessary tools to read the book. Plus just like with reading a book if they have the tools to be a successful reader they are more likely to read. This doesn’t mean all their “play” needs to be structured, unstructured play is actually very important to their overall development in becoming physically literate, because it allows them to practice the movement skills they have learned. When children acquire the skills to be a successful and confident mover they will want to go outside to play and want to become more physically active. They need to be provided with stepping stones in order learn the necessary skills to be successful.
Enjoy the moments with your children and celebrate as they reach their physical literacy milestones as you would with any other academic success. Are you there to encourage them to make it across the monkey bars? Have you seen and celebrated when they have developed the necessary strength to reach a milestone similar to this? These things that are so simple to us are a big deal to our kids. Do you recognize the importance in the excitement your child experiences the first time they make a basket, when they tag the fastest kid, score a goal, hit the ball, and so on?
You bet it is and here is! Here is why, children master and enjoy the things they are good at and just like us they participate in things where they feel success, they shy away from things that intimidate them, that are hard, that they “can’t do”. Would you rather your child become an expert at video games, Facebook, tablets or would you rather them master a physical skill that could lead them to be more physically active enhancing their overall health?
Kids are no different today than we were as kids however what is encouraged and learned is much different. An increase in screen time (TV, video games, tablets, phones, iPods, computers, etc.) are all detrimental to a child’s growth. Children are products of their environment and “monkey see monkey do” how are you demonstrating the importance in movement in your child’s life?
The first thing you can do to make a difference is to get active in your child’s activities. Make time each day to engage in play with your child. This is something we all want to do anyway, we just have to make it a priority. Physical Literacy is no different than reading literacy, reading books helps develop a love for books and to understand the importance of reading. Playing with your kids helps to develop their skills and love for movement. When kids learn the importance of movement at a young age they are more likely to incorporate it into their lives as they grow and get older.
For many of you this might be the first time you are hearing this term. The most important thing is that you have fun this isn’t meant to provide parents with more work, but rather to help make you aware of the importance of physical literacy. Remember with any investment the more you invest the greater the return is in the end.
- Watch the website for more information on physical literacy.
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