TABLE 4

Supporting Physical Literacy

Infancy: supporting rudimentary motor skill development
 Grasping (3–4 mo)
  Offer toys to support hand-eye coordination
 Roll over (4–6 mo)
  Tummy time to build core strength
 Sitting (6 mo)
  Tummy time to increase strength and coordination
 Crawling (7–10 mo)
  Place toys to help build strength and balance
 Cruising (9 mo)
  Offer a safe environment to explore which increases strength and balance
 Walking (12 mo)
  Create a safe environment to explore which improves balance and coordination
Toddler or preschool age: support development of fundamental skills
 Encourage fun and socialization, incorporating activities preferred by the child, family walks, and chores (picking up, retrieving items, helping clean)
 Running (by 2 y)
  Play chase, visit parks, and offer a safe environment to practice
 Throwing (2 y)
  Play catch with easy-to-grasp foam or fabric balls
 Catching (2+ y)
  Create a “basket” with arms to catch
 Kicking (2 y)
  Play soccer with light, foam balls
 Swimming (1–4 y)
  Enroll in swimming lessons
 Skating (4 y)
Elementary school age: improve fundamental skills and develop self-efficacy
 Encourage fun and socialization, incorporating fitness preferences (such as dance, yoga, running, hiking, sports), active transportation (walking, cycling to school and activities), and chores (walking the dog)
 Running
  Build fitness and skills with tag, introduce sports like soccer by age 6
 Throwing and catching
 Falling and tumbling
  Helps decrease injury by learning to tuck head, knees, and arms
 Hopping and jumping
 Hopscotch and jump rope
 Cycling
  Teach a child to ride a bike
 Striking sports
  Practice at home with a plastic ball and bat, hockey stick, etc; introduce sports programs
 Dribbling sports
  Fine motor skills develop through practice and repetition
 Gymnastics
  One of the best activities for agility, balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility
 Skiing
  Low center of gravity makes it easier; it helps with balance
Preadolescence and adolescence: honing physical literacy
 Encourage fun and socialization, incorporating fitness preferences (such as dance, yoga, running, hiking, sports), active transportation (walking, cycling to school and activities), and chores (walking the dog)
 Identify gaps in fundamental movement skills development, confidence, or desire to be active and devise a plan to remedy (eg, motivational interviewing, physical therapy, community program)
 Introduce skill development and strategy through coaching and camps
 Introduce more complex sports that incorporate multidirectional movement and attention (eg, sports with equipment and strategy and/or plays)
 Introduce resistance training with supervision and instruction on proper technique
 Avoid sports specialization until mid-to-late teenaged years
  • Data are from references 16, 76, 8385, 89, and 90.