Physical Literacy


Everyone’s Talking About Physical Literacy? What Is It?

Physical literacy means teaching kids a variety of different physical skills to help them become successful grown-ups. The goal is for them to be comfortable and competent using all different types of movements, so they feel confident trying new things, and are able to move skillfully through the physical side of life.

Why Teach Kids Physical Literacy?

We at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre are huge fans of this concept. In fact, we require its components to be part of each and every one of our activities!

We like to think that when you teach children to learn with their bodies as well as their minds, it paves the wave for them to achieve individual greatness.

The Benefits

Like learning the alphabet or multiplication tables, learning how to move your body comfortably and competently in different ways is extraordinarily beneficial for kids. Studies indicate regular physical activity improves focus in the classroom, boosts self esteem, and help children be more social and well-rounded.

These days, with obesity rates and related diseases on the rise, the simple act of moving more in everyday life is really the only prescription you need.

Also, your kids are like little learning sponges. When you teach them physical education young, it becomes part of their DNA. Then when they’re adults, they’re not cramming it into the day planner like many of us adults!

Here’s How To Get Started

Physical literacy for your children shouldn’t be reserved solely for your time at the Tri Leisure Centre. Here’s how to bring physical literacy into the home.

Offer them Opportunities Galore: A common characteristic of many elite athletes is that they were exposed to a wide variety of activities and sports as a kid. In fact, if you ask champion athletes today about their background, many will tell you they didn’t start to specialize in their particular sport until they were in their teens! Teach your children to be patient with themselves and to try and find things they like about all different kinds of sports and activities.

Beware the Overload: Offering different physical opportunities doesn’t mean making your children do two different sports on every night of the week. Give them a wide exposure without overloading them – even if it’s an occasional drop-in gymnastics class on a Saturday morning or participating in a dance demonstration in the park. Or, maybe their school friends have a bring-a-friend night at their local karate class.

Talk About Physicality: Ask them about their soccer or t-ball games. Ask them what skills they want to improve and what skills come naturally to them. At the end of a school day or activity, ask them to put stickers or checkmarks beside the items they’ve achieved.

Set An Example: You can also set an example by telling your kids about your own workouts: Tell them why you go to the gym, what classes you’re taking, or how you train for a 5K fun run with your friends. Explain your goals, your steps to get there and tell them your feelings – good and bad—about your progress.

Be Creative: If you’re not a “sporty” person, don’t worry. You can still go for nature walks, dance to music in the kitchen, or be the “judge” for fun handstand contests or races while your kids are in the pool or on the ice. You can also show your support and interest for their activities by bringing oranges and water to their soccer games, for example. You know what they say: sometimes the most important thing is just showing up!

Click here for some more ideas for doing fun physical activities at home.

How physically literate are you? Take this cool quiz!







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