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Physical literacy

The early years are an important time for a child’s growth & development.

Physical activity can help children to:

  • Increase muscle and bone growth
  • Develop flexibility & coordination
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Improve memory, concentration, creativity and problem solving abilities

Basic movement skills, such as throwing, catching, and running form the building blocks of physical literacy.  When children feel confident at performing these skills, they will be more likely to participate in activities that require these skills when they're older.

For example:

  • If children are able to throw, they are more likely to participate in activities such as baseball, basketball, tennis, football, badminton, or cricket
  • If children are able to swim, they are more likely to participate in activities such as diving, waterskiing, scuba diving, canoeing, or windsurfing
  • During the early years, the focus should be on having fun, and helping children to learn the ABC’S of Physical Literacy: Agility, Balance, Coordination & Speed

Video created by the Canadian Sport for Life Alberta Community Recreation & Sport Work Group

Tips for parents

  • Physical activity should be fun and movement skills can be learned through active play
  • Whenever possible, play with your children and role model physical activity
  • Try to help children see physical activity as a normal part of their daily routine
  • Remember that children learn skills at their own pace
  • Encourage children to try many different types of activities like dance or yoga!
  • Provide a safe environment with appropriate supervision

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