What is Physical Literacy?

By Bev Smith, Executive Director, KIDSPORTS

Physical literacy is a concept that is gaining traction throughout the fitness and child-education communities today. The idea behind physical literacy is that children should be taught a basic set of foundational skills that can be applied to sports and other physical activities – much like they are taught the ABC’s before learning to read. These basic skills act as building blocks with which they can construct a confident,creative, and strategic approach to physical activities.

Fundamental movement skills include:

  • Hop
  • Dodge
  • Skip
  • Log Roll
  • Stork Stand
  • Jump
  • Kick
  • Dribble
  • Overarm Throw
  • Catch
  • Run
  • Sidearm Strike

These skills are essential to developing a physically literate individual and should be developed by age 9. Physical literacy impacts everything we do, from carrying weight to moving through our daily routines. A child who has not had the opportunity to learn how to move their bodies may face difficulties when participating in sports experiences or in physical activities later in life.