Creating healthy, active kids

Physical literacy – a construct

Physical literacy is an emerging concept related to the confidence, motivation and competence to move and be physically active throughout your life. Physical literacy is a complex construct that includes many different aspects of psychology, behavioural sciences, sociology, philosophy and kinesiology in order to understand movement behaviours, develop movement skills and ultimately encourage people to move more.

Developing physical literacy

Although physical literacy may sound daunting, complex and difficult to understand, there are many simple ways to enhance programs, lessons, games and activities in order to develop physical literacy within individuals that you work with.

By making adaptations and modifications to games and activities using universal design principles, every individual can participate in any activity to the best of their ability. By definition, physical literacy is an inclusive concept where every person can acquire movement competence and confidence.

By focusing on play based activities that are developmentally appropriate and create fun, safe, welcoming and stimulating environments we provide conditions that foster learning, allows for curiosity and exploration with movement and movement concepts and encourages individuals to challenge themselves in their own unique journey.

Physical literacy is associated with movement in all its forms, including sport-based activities, dance, gymnastics, circus, theatrical performances, strength based activities and activities of daily living to name a few. In order for individuals to gain experience, knowledge and understanding of all these movements, it is important that any curriculum or program include as much variety in movement context as possible.

Here to help

While all this may seem challenging, PISE is here to assist you with knowledge, resources, training and mentorship in physical literacy and play.

Our programs

When it comes to children’s programs and summer camps, PISE uses a combination of structured and unstructured play to help children learn to move to the best of their ability. We inspire creative movement exploration to play your way to:

  • confidence
  • skill development
  • fun, team work & cooperation
  • respect
  • inclusivity

How do we do all that? Well, let’s start with confidence. By modifying games and activities so that they are appropriate for each child’s ability level, they ensure the child has fun and achieves success thus building confidence. With skill development it is important to understand that each person develops at different speeds and in different ways. By providing age appropriate size/type of equipment and space to play, then allowing time to explore movement and skills without the pressure of competition or time constraints, PISE fosters skill development in all kids, whether they are an experienced performer or being introduced to the movements for the first time.

Now fun, team work & cooperation naturally go together. How do we help these qualities develop? By ensuring that each child contributes to the outcome of the activity, has success and feels valued within the group, by playing games that require a collaborative effort and by using games and activities as a conduit for problem solving, conflict resolution and cooperation.

These same fun games and activities support the understanding of respect. PISE leaders present positive role models that demonstrate respect of each other and anyone in their care. Throughout the activities they teach the children how to respect themselves by understanding personal body cues and acknowledging when others need space or have other boundaries they need to respect. Inclusivity is learned first by experiencing children of all abilities and backgrounds engaging in the same activities. It is also learned through the leaders understanding that each child has a different barometer for success, then teaching and modifying for those differences. This results in each child feeling included and being aware of how to be inclusive.

Now, that was a lot to take in but it boils down to this: the people at PISE believe that physical activity improves overall well-being, emotionally, physically and mentally, that everyone, of every age and ability, deserves health and well-being and the best way to achieve this is to play your way through life!