Sara Smeaton has an entirely new outlook on how to raise active kids. A self-confessed “non-sporty mom”, she was resigned to the fact that her two children might never learn how to throw a ball properly or confidently participate in any sports. After one year with us at Active for Life, now she knows better.
“Like most people, I used to think that kids just naturally learned these skills as part of growing up, or they were naturally sporty,” says Sara. “When I started learning more about physical literacy, I realized that wasn’t the case. Kids need opportunities to learn basic movement skills and practice them, and it doesn’t just happen on it’s own.”
Physical literacy is broadly defined as proficiency in a wide variety of fundamental movement and sport skills. Kids who are physically literate have the confidence to use those skills to participate in all manner of sports and physical activities.
Experts in child development, physical education, and athlete training alike are increasingly touting physical literacy as essential to promoting physical activity. Regular physical activity is connected to better health, positive self-image, better school grades, and improved social well-being in general.
How can you help your infant, toddler, preschool, or school-aged child to develop physical literacy? Here are four checklists to help you target the basic skills that your child should be mastering at each age, with suggestions on how to get started.
These checklists are not exhaustive, but are a great place to start. As you review them, keep in mind that if your child does not display some of these skills, it doesn’t mean it’s too late. You may simply want to get them into activity programs where they can begin to develop these skills.