What is Physical Literacy?

  • Physical literacy is “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” (Active Start, Oct 20, 2017)

    It is critically important that young children are involved in both structured and unstructured active play. According to Sport for Life, a federally funded non-profit society represented by leaders in sport, recreation, and health sectors, children under seven are at the sensitive period wherein the acquisition of fundamental movement skills (FMS) is particularly effective. FMS (categorized into locomotor, body management, and object control skills) are the foundation of physical literacy.

    Unfortunately, those who develop fundamental movement skills more slowly than their peers are at risk of losing other essential elements of physical literacy, such as fundamental sports skills, which come later in life, and motivation, confidence, and valuation of activity. Indeed, the level of FMS skills of children is positively correlated with the levels of participation in physical activity in adulthood. With this in mind, it is essential for educators of young children to make movement challenging but not discouraging, modifiable for differing abilities, fun, safe, and non-competitive.

  • References

    Good Habits for Life: Kids at Play Active Play Program. https://goodhabitsforlife.act.gov.au/kids-at-play/kids-play-active-play-program

    Active Start. http://sportforlife.ca/active-start/

    Sport for Life. http://utaholympiclegacy.org/sport-for-life/