What is Physical Literacy?
Physical literacy is fun and simple, yet basic for a healthy life. It benefits every aspect of the physical functioning of our bodies. Physical literacy involves developing the fundamental movement skills and motor activities that you need to move with competence and confidence in all environments. Physical literacy is also about awareness and the social, emotional and cognitive qualities that everyone needs to move. For example, self-regulation requires you to creatively and strategically apply and analyze different forms of large and fine muscle movements their body makes in relationship to the environment.
The best way to develop a physically literate preschool aged child is to give them daily structured and unstructured activities.
A physically literate child has the confidence to pursue physical activities and enjoy the benefits of a healthy body.
Myth: It Just Happens
While it’s true that some children develop physical skills on their own by trial-and-error, many do not. Children who have less physical skills tend to play less, have fewer opportunities to develop physical literacy and are more likely to withdraw from physical activity, sometimes for a lifetime.
Children who are physically skilled are easily motivated to seek out large amounts of vigorous healthy play; yet even children who enjoy physical activity are less likely to have these opportunities in today’s world. As a society we have become more inactive as we wrestle with screen time, smaller families and fewer safe outdoor play areas. Also even children that easily acquire physical skills require opportunities to safely learn how and why their bodies move to reduce the chances of injury later in life.