Healthy Start Team Learns About Physical Literacy

‘I do my best thinking while I am physically active.’ – Dr. Louise Humbert, Associate Dean, College of Kinesiology

Early Learning Child Care Educators play a significant role in teaching children physical literacy at a young age. Their purpose is to help kids understand how to move. This enables the children to be better equipped at choosing to be physically active throughout the rest of their lives.

During the second morning session of the Healthy Start / Départ Santé (HSDS) September Team Training, Dr. Louise Humbert introduced the Saskatchewan and New Brunswick team to physical literacy, a field of research pioneered by Dr. Margaret Whitehead.

There are three main ideas associated with physical literacy. Firstly, one must begin with the motivation to be active. This can include sport but is not exclusively limited to sport. There is a desire to move within us all. We need to encourage and develop confidence and competence around movement. One of the easiest examples of this is for people to start moving by walking as there are little to no barriers to entry for this.

Secondly, children need to have the right skills for movement on land, air, and water in order to open up a lifetime of movement. This foundation of physical literacy is comparable to learning one’s A-B-Cs or Do-Re-Mis. Once children have been exposed and are fluent in the alphabet of physical movement, their vocabulary for exercise, sport, and wellness increases substantially.

The last component is making the continuous choices to be physically active. The desired outcome is for kids to have the confidence and competence to be physically active for all their years.

Other topics covered in Dr. Louise Humbert’s presentation were the testing of gross motors skills in 3-5 year olds using the TGMD2 tool, implementing the tool in HSDS data collection, as well as the introduction of key concepts to the Project and Knowledge Development & Exchange (KDE) Coordinators.

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