By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
The early stages of your child’s life are some of the most important, and setting them up for success can involve something you may be unaware of: physical literacy.
What is Physical Literacy?
Physically literate children are those who are encouraged and enrolled in physical activities at a young age. Living an active lifestyle at a young age is linked to higher confidence, motivation, and athletic ability later in life, so establishing these habits early is essential.
“Early beginnings and early habits result in better longevity of these behaviours,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky.
Playing sports and being active can help your child become healthy throughout their life, along with helping them meet new people and expand on their social skills. Becoming physically literate helps in ways you may have never even thought of – heck, it even helps in a Darwinian sense.
“Having healthy children leads to a healthy population,” Boroditsky said.
Children engaging in physical activity and enjoying sports can have a real positive impact on society. And the best way for them to love an activity is to do an activity you love, together.
Being the Role Model
“When you’re teaching young kids good habits, the parents should be engaged,” said Boroditsky.
If your kid sees you moaning and groaning while dragging them to sports, they’ll pick up on that and will see activities as a chore. If you are enthusiastic about the activities, your kids will feed off that and gain a new appreciation for physical activities.
“If you as a family engage in activities, you build better habits,” said Boroditsky.
Many of us have been spending a lot more time at home right now, which makes this the perfect time to take your kids outdoors and help them get active. It’s a commitment that doesn’t stop for anything, even a global pandemic.
Fit Kids Healthy Kids
If you need any help coming up with ideas or learning what kind of physical activities you should try, Fit Kids Healthy Kids can help.
The Physical Literacy program is founded as a partnership between Sport Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba that teaches children and their adult leaders the fundamentals of movement that make kids confident and competent in sport, recreation, and life.
For a lot of people, social (physical) distancing is the perfect way to bond with the family.
“We’re all at home, so we should all hang out and play together,” Dr. Boroditsky said.
For tips and games to help your family get active, visit the Fit Kids Healthy Kids website.