Physical literacy is an important part of child development. Being physically literate means that we have the confidence and knowledge combined with the skills to move our bodies effectively. Daily movement, whether indoors or outdoors, benefits everyone and gives us opportunities to learn these skills.
We both prefer to be active outdoors. Living in the Kootenays provides many opportunities for outdoor activities all year round. Things like nature walks, scavenger hunts, animal tracking, bird identification, and games of tag (so many games of tag!) are some of our kids’ favourite things to do.
Adding an extra learning and literacy piece to outdoor adventures can be easy and fun. Ask your children to look for things that are a certain colour or shape. When your child finds something interesting, ask them open ended questions about it, such as “Why did you choose this?” Talk about the changing seasons and what is happening to the trees and plants, listen to birds, look for interesting rocks and sticks.
When the weather is poor, it is easy to be active and have fun inside. Some things you could try: hold family dance parties and competitions; play follow the leader; throw soft balls or stuffed toys into a laundry basket; build blanket forts, or play hide and seek.
Kids love to pretend to be cars, trains, planes, or their favorite animals. A great way to support your child’s sense of play and imagination is to get them to choose an animal to walk, jump, run, or crawl like and be sure to choose one for yourself; then have a parade, or a guessing game of animal actions.
If you’re looking for more ideas, Decoda Literacy Solutions has many Family Literacy Week resources on their website.
The website Gonoodle is one that we visit a lot. The videos are entertaining, and the kids love them.
Active for Life is a great website that allows you to search for ideas by your kids’ ages and what specific physical skill you’d like to practice such as balancing, hopping, catching, etc.
There are many apps available that encourage people of all ages to be active. One of our favourites is the Participaction app. It has many quick and easy ideas for movement as a family, group or individual.
These are all great ways to get moving, be active, and have a fun while connecting and learning as a family. Contact your local CBAL literacy coordinator to find out what’s happening in your community during Family Literacy Week (January 24 – 31).
Sandy Kalesnikoff Jennifer Pratschke
Community Literacy Coordinator – Windermere Valley Settlement Worker – Windermere Valley
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy