What you need to know

The rates of childhood obesity and inactivity are clearly on the rise and if we hope to combat this epidemic, we must take action NOW.

Research shows that without the development of physical literacy, many children and youth withdraw from physical activity and sport and turn to more inactive and/or unhealthy choices during their leisure time.

Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in ensuring that their child is provided with ample opportunities to develop physical literacy.  While some organizations indicate that physical literacy is developed up to a certain age/stage, PHE Canada believes that the development of physical literacy is ongoing.  As a parent, you can ensure that your child has access to a range of opportunities to nurture this development.

First and foremost, parents should ensure that their child has access to a quality physical education program.  Quality physical education provides the most accessible opportunity for a child to develop physical literacy since physical education has the means to reach EVERY child in Canada, regardless of age, ability, socio-economic status, gender, or culture.

Fundamental Movement Skills

The development of fundamental movement skills and motor skills is critical to establishing the foundation for participation in many sports and physical activities.  A child who has not had the opportunity to develop these basic motor skills experiences difficulties or barriers when participating in sport experiences or later school-based programs that involve more difficult skills.

Figure 6. Consequences of Missing a Fundamental Skill (Canadian Sport For Life)



The links to the right can provide you with even more information on the importance of developing physical literacy and the fundamental movement skills for your child.