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If you were looking for signs that your kids were physically literate, what would you look for?
In the simplest sense, physical literacy means your kids have good movement skills. But it also means they show confidence in their skills when they are trying something new, and they understand basic words and concepts around movement. They also tend to look for opportunities to be active.
If your kids are physically literate, here are some things you might see:
- You are at the beach and you ask your daughter to throw you a granola bar. She tosses it perfectly into your hands from 3 meters away.
- You tell your son to tread water in the pool, and he knows you’re not asking him to walk on water.
- While on a family hike, you encounter a stream. Your children cross it by hopping effortlessly from stone to stone without falling or getting their feet wet. (And they laugh with glee at the challenge.)
- While relaxing in your living room, you turn on some good dance music. Your kids immediately start to gyrate, twist, shuffle their feet and shake their bodies in rhythm to the music.
- While walking with your daughter in the park, your path is blocked by a large puddle. She doesn’t hesitate. She takes a run at it and leaps over it before you can tell her not to.
- Your kids use door frames, stair rails and fences as climbing equipment.
- When you go to the playground, your daughter jumps off monkey bars, climbing walls and swings and shouts “Look at me!” (And she sticks the landing each time.)
- You ask your son to help you move some boxes. Each time he picks one up, he automatically bends his knees.
- You toss your daughter the television remote and she catches it without flinching, blinking or panicking.
- Your son’s bike is covered in scratches and dents and it frequently needs repairs. Why? Because he uses it to jump off curbs, race friends and leap over small water features.
- When your kids get new sports equipment or dance shoes, they say “Awesome!”
- Whenever she encounters a game of street hockey, scrub baseball, tennis, volleyball, basketball or pickup soccer, your daughter jumps into the game without hesitating. Even though she doesn’t generally play that sport.
- It’s difficult to walk through your garage without tripping over bicycles, basketballs, hockey sticks, scooters, skateboards and soccer balls.
- Your 7-year-old resents you for “forcing” him to eat his favorite dinner. Because he wanted to stay outside playing tag and climbing trees with his friends.
- Your children start spontaneously inventing their own games using balls, balloons and even sticks and stones!
Are you raising a physically literate child? How do they show their movement prowess? Where do they show their confidence? Share your stories by commenting below or visit our Facebook page.
Jim Grove is a contributing editor with Active for Life, a nonprofit organization committed to helping parents raise happy, healthy, physically literate kids. For more articles like this one, please visit ActiveforLife.com.