Physical Literacy in Children and Youth (0-17)
To be announced…
What is physical literacy and why does my child need it?
Physical Literacy is a framework healthcare providers, recreation leaders, teachers, educators, coaches, researchers and families are using to help give their children and youth the skills, motivation and confidence to be lead healthier lives by being active for life.
Before children can play sports and participate in physical activities they need to learn
- HOW to move (the skills associated with movement)
- WHEN to move (the motivation to be active for at least 60min every day)
- WHY to move (to be healthy and happy and connected to their community and friends).
Just like a child needs to learn the ABCs before they can read, children need to learn the FUNdamental Movement Skills (RUN HOP THROW etc) before they can be active for life.
The way children are moving and the environment activity is taking place in has changed DRASTICALLY between generations. Children are sitting more and moving less having a serious impact on their overall wellness and health.
The Northumberland Sports Council is dedicated to bringing more knowledge, urgency, and trained individuals to our community with the ultimate goal of creating more opportunities for children and youth in Northumberland to gain quality physical literacy skills that will help keep them active for life.
Resources to further your learning on Physical Literacy:
- Physical Literacy – website
- Developing Physical Literacy in children and youth ages 0-12 – resource
- Inclusive Physical Literacy – website
- What is Physical Literacy? – article
- ParticipACTION and Physical Literacy – website
Physical Literacy – Long Term Development Stages
Physical literacy is all about getting kids moving in an appropriate environment that fosters inclusion, the opportunity for successes and failures, and to get to know and play with their peers! The Long Term Development Stages is a document that was created through the lens of physical literacy.
The Long Term Athlete Development Plan is a document that outlines what a child should be doing at a specific age and stage. Science, research, and decades of experience all point to the same thing: kids and adults will get active, stay active, and even reach the greatest heights of sports achievement if they do the right things at the right times!
Resources to further your learning on Long Term Development Stages:
FUNdamental Movement Skills
Learn to move with the FUNdamental Movement Skills. Children and youth need to be taught HOW to move with individually specific progressions built into all activities. Learning the FUNdamental Movement Skills is essential for enabling children to be active for life!
It is important to note that FUNdamental Movement Skills can be learned at ANY age! Physical Literacy tries to instill the curiosity and motivation to learn new movements at any age or stage of life!
Important FUNdamental Movement Skills: Run • Hop • Skip • Jump • Throw • Kick • Balance • Catch • Strike • Coordination • Agility
Resources to further your learning on FUNdamental Movement Skills:
- What are FUNdmanetal Movement Skills? -website
- Ball Skills- poster
- Locomotor Skills- poster
- Run Jump Throw Wheel- poster
- My Skills- poster
- Hop-Skip-and-Jump – resource
- Run, Jump Throw – resource
- Maximum Engagement in Games and Activities (MEGA) -document
- Developing Multi-Sport Skills- Youtube video
- The connection between Physical Literacy and FUNdamental Movement Skills- Youtube Video
24-Hours Movement Guideline
Children and youth should practice healthy sleep hygiene (habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well), limit sedentary behaviours (especially screen time), and participate in a range of physical activities in a variety of environments (e.g., home/school/community; indoors/outdoors; land/water; summer/winter) and contexts (e.g., play, recreation, sport, active transportation, hobbies, and chores).
Move: 30min+ of tummy time spread out throughout the day. More if better!
Sleep: 14-17 hours (0-3 months) and 12-16 hours (4-11 months) of good quality sleep (including nap time)
Sit: Try not to restrain your baby for more than 1 hour at a time (in a stroller or high chair) and screen time is not recommended. When sedentary use this time to read stories and play interactively when possible!
Move: 180 min + doing as many different activities as possible spread throughout the day. More is better!
Sleep: 11-14 hours of good quality sleep including naps with consistent bedtimes and wake up times.
Sit: Try not to restrain your toddler for more than 1 hour at a time (in a stroller or high chair) and screen time is not recommended if 1 years old. 1 hour of screen time (or less) is toddler is 2 years old. When sedentary use this time to read stories and play interactively when possible!
Move: 180 min + doing as many different activities as possible spread throughout the day. 60min should be energetic play (sweating and breathing heavily) More is better!
Sleep: 10-13 hours of good quality sleep which may include naps with consistent bedtimes and wake up times.
Sit: Try not to restrain your preschooler for more than 1 hour at a time (in a stroller or car seat). 1 hour of screen time (or less).
Sweat: 1 hour of medium to hard (sweating and breathing heavily) physical activity EVERY DAY!
Step: 2-3hours (or more) of light to medium ( walking, playing in a sandbox, gardening) physical activity EVERY DAY!
Sleep: 8-11hours of sleep is required EVERY NIGHT! Electronics should be shut down at least 1hr prior to going to bed.
Sit: No more than 2 hours of sedentary recreational screen EVERY DAY! Limit sitting for extended periods of time.
Resources to further your learning about the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines:
- Build your best day is an interactive computer game to help teach your children about the 24-hour Movement Guidelines!
- ParticipACTION -website
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology -website
- Canadian 24Hour MovementGuidelines – printable poster
Physical Literacy and Brain Health/ Mental Wellness
Canadian kids need active bodies to build their best brains. All kids deserve to thrive in mind and body. But in order for them to reach their full mental, emotional and intellectual potential, their bodies have to move to get the wheels in their brains turning.
Researchers, doctors, and recreational advocates are beginning to understand how truly essential physical activity is in childhood for a healthy brain. Regular physical activity (60min of heart pumping, sweaty play and LOTS of hours of milder active play) leads to improved:
- Thinking and learning
- Emotional regulation and self-control
- Problem-solving ability
- Brain plasticity – the growth of new brain tissue
- Stress management
- Ability to cope with anxiety and depressive symptoms
- Self-esteem and self-worth
- Attention and focus
Canadian kids are sitting too much and moving too little to reach their full potential.
Resources on the relationship between brain health and physical activity:
- 2018 ParticipACTION Physical Activity Report Card – website
- Parenting Science -website
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre – website
- Exercise can foster brain health for kids with autism and ADHD– article
- Science Behind Physical Literacy – blog
The Gender Divide
If a girl hasn’t participated in sports by the age of 10, there is only a 10% chance that she will be physically active as an adult. Only 16% of adult women report sport participation.
The difference in physical activity behaviours between boys and girls starts as young as 6 years old. This difference only increases as children grow older.
Physical literacy is a theory we can use in practical experiences to ensure our girls and women stay active and healthy for life.