YMCA Calgary > Physical Literacy

Physical Literacy

Our camps help kids:

Develop physical literacy

  • Physical literacy means developing the foundational skills and the confidence required to participate in regular physical activity, play a sport or get to the podium. YMCA camps include intentional activities that help build physical literacy and allow your child to participate in whatever activity or sport they choose. It’s proven that people who are physically literate are more likely to be active for life.

Become socially responsible

  • Through our values of respect, honesty, responsibility and caring, we teach kids to respect themselves, others and the environment in which they learn and play.
    Some camps explore philanthropy and help kids see the value in community service.

Develop life skills

  • Kids learn social skills, how to be independent and to make good choices.
    We foster individual development through group learning, challenge and fun.

and help create happy, healthy communities.

Eight ways to tell if your child is physically literate

1. Forward roll –  Can your child do a basic forward roll on the floor? The forward roll is a basic gymnastic movement that demonstrates your child has developed a reasonable degree of flexibility and coordination, as well as proprioception (knowing where the body is as it moves through space).

2. One-leg balance test – Ask your child to stand on one foot for 30 seconds. Get them to put their hands on their hips and lift the knee of their non-standing leg as high as possible. Repeat with the other foot. If they start to hop uncontrollably or fall over, they need to work on balance.

3. Swim (comfortable in water) – Can your child swim? Swimming is the foundation of aquatic sports and is an essential skill for safety around the water.

4. Throw a ball – It may seem a bit simplistic, but the ability to throw a ball is a good measure of a child’s overall coordination and an essential skill used in many sports.

5. Strike an object – Can your child hit a ball with a bat? A puck with a hockey stick? A badminton bird with a racquet?

6. Land from jumping – Watch your child as they jump from a low platform, tree branch or your deck. Do they land with their knees aligned squarely above their feet and sink smoothly into a squat? Or do their knees collapse inwards and their legs wobble around?

7. Flat footed squat – Can your child do a flat footed squat from a standing position and then stand up again? This movement indicates flexibility, coordination, balance and strength.

8. Confidence to try sports – Is your child confident when trying new physical activities or sports? Kids who have a reasonable degree of physical literacy are confident, eager and able to try new sports and activities.



Learn more about physical literacy at activeforlife.ca!