Why is it important to start young?
During the early years, your child’s brain and nervous system are continuously developing. Physical activities and games support the development process.
Physical literacy is developed by doing. As parents, teachers, coaches and recreation specialists, we can get children off to a great start by teaching them the movements and skills they need to feel confident and motivated.
Without a foundation in physical literacy, children begin withdrawing from sport and recreation between 10 and 12 years of age. Their physical activity falls below healthy levels and they may miss the social benefits because they’re not taking part in an activity that may interest them.
Children who have more physical skills choose active play more often and are more likely to stay active for a lifetime.
- Positive social skills: Participation in physical activities helps children regulate their emotions and learn cooperation and teamwork.
- Skills development: Learning basic movements leads to new skills for sports and games that build confidence and self-esteem.
- Physical development: Activity builds strong bones and muscles, good hand-eye coordination, good posture and increased flexibility.
- Injury prevention: Improving balance, stability and flexibility can help reduce or prevent injuries.
- Health: Regular activity leads to better sleeping patterns, less anxiety and improved concentration.
How can I help my child become physically literate?
- Start with yourself–become a role model for active and healthy living! Your child is watching and learning from you.
- Encourage and respect your child’s rate of development. Your child develops skills at their own pace as their brain and muscles grow.
- Make active living a part of your everyday routine–Health Canada offers great tips and reasons to be active.
- Help your child find a physical activity that they enjoy. Our programs and activities offer options for every interest.
- View our fundamental movement skills posters to help your child practice and play.