Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre

Inspiring & Promoting Excellence in Child Care & Early Learning

Spotlight on: Physical Literacy

January 24-31 is Decoda’s family literacy week, and the theme for 2021 is “Let’s Be Active! Move * Play * Learn.” 

Being in our own homes more than usual may have left us feeling like staying active is more difficult, but also more important, than ever before. Finding small, simple ways to inspire active play and movement at home is important for both physical and mental health.

Why not try some of the activities below with the children you work or live with:

Animal Play

Duration: 5 Mins

Ages: 2 - 10

Fundamental Movement Skill(s): Hopping, Jumping, Running, Walking

Equipment: None

Environment: Field, backyard, room with furniture moved to the side

Activity Instructions 

  • Participants move around the play area like different animals. For example: Flying birds, jumping frogs, hopping flamingos, running cheetahs, walking elephants, etc.

  • Suggest different kinds of animals or categories of animals (e.g. Australian animals, marine animals) to try moving like.

  • For younger children, read a book with animals and ask them to move like the animals in the book.

  • For older children, take turns as the person who chooses the type of animals to move like.

(Activity from https://physicalliteracy.ca/)

Bathtub Swimmer

Requirements

  • Bathtub and parent supervision

Instructions

  1. During bath time, encourage your toddler to splash in the water by kicking their legs.

  2. Remove items from near the bathtub if you do not want them wet.

  3. Have your toddler kick as they sit or recline in the bathtub. (Support their head if necessary.)

Variations

  • Encourage your toddler to splash with their hands by pushing the water with their hands as paddles

Benefits

This activity develops leg coordination, strength and gross motor control in the lower body. These skills transfer to sports and activities that involve swimming or simply kicking an object (e.g., soccer, football, martial arts).

(Activity from activeforlife.com)

It’s also important to take opportunities to get outside and allow your children to experience adventurous and ‘risky’ play. If you missed it, here’s another chance to read Laura Burki from Frog Hollow’s article about how children can be their own risk assessors: https://www.reggiolearning.ca/children-can-be-risk-assessors-too/

Literacy Resources:

Decoda Family Literacy Week

outsideplay.ca 

Physical literacy handbook for educators

Physical literacy handbook for Parents 

Active for life