Why is Physical Literacy Important for Development in Early Childhood?

Andrew Silva, 10 Nov 2020

During your little one’s early childhood, there are many things to consider when it comes to their development. Cognitive, social and emotional development are all areas that you will begin monitoring as your child grows. One seldom thought of, but equally important area of development is physical literacy. In early childhood, physical literacy refers to the development of fundamental movement and sport skills. If children do not adequately master movement skills, they can risk growing up with a sedentary lifestyle and physically awkward.

Physical literacy in the early years of your child is important because it acts as the blueprint for an active lifestyle. It ensures that your child has the best shot at a bright and healthy future. While everyone knows how important it is to remain active and healthy, not every parent understands the importance of physical literacy in a child’s early childhood. This is completely understandable as not much emphasis is placed on physical literacy in comparison to more academic-centric development.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the top reasons for instilling physical literacy in your little one’s early childhood. We hope that these reasons help you to understand why physical literacy is important in their early years.

6 reasons why physical literacy is important in your child’s early years

  1. Reduced risk of obesity

    Unfortunately, childhood obesity is a real problem that cannot be remedied with simply a change to one’s diet (though this is highly recommended). Children who are active or physically literate from a young age have a lower chance of becoming obese. This will also bleed into later life as mastering physical literacy means that your adult child will be more likely to exercise and not live a sedentary life which will help to counteract obesity.

  2. Spatial awareness

    A child that is physically literate is more likely to develop spatial awareness. Spatial awareness allows a child to move throughout different environments with confidence. Their balance, coordination and agility are developed at an early age, giving them the physicality, functionality and energy level to not only improve through their teen years but also the ability to adapt and be physical in a variety of environments.

  3. Improved memory and cognitive function

    Physical activity such as exercise, which is improved by physical literacy in early childhood, can affect your child’s memory and their cognitive development and function. Exercise stimulated chemicals that affect your child’s brain cells and the growth of its blood vessels, which ultimately improve one’s memory. Additionally, physical activity is linked to a greater density of cells in the area of the brain that regulates critical thinking, thereby improving your child’s cognitive ability.

  4. Increased confidence

    It’s no surprise that physical literacy impacts a child’s confidence. With the opportunity to build the skills, knowledge and behaviour to move and be active in their lives, your child will approach every situation with confidence. Think of physical literacy the same way you would think about literacy in reading and language. Without it, your child will lack the confidence to read it out loud or even speak. Physical literacy impacts a child the same way, but in regards to their ability to physically move in different situations.

  5. Happiness

    Children, regardless of their age, can develop stress and anxiety disorders. This can exacerbate as your child gets older and takes on more pressure from school. Physical activity can alleviate their stress, help your child to sleep better and relax. Essentially, it helps your child to cope with their stress and anxiety in a healthy manner, contributing to their overall happiness.

  6. Develop a sense of freedom and adventure

    A child who is physically literate will have the confidence to and enjoy exploring the world around them independently. They are more likely to be inquisitive about their surroundings and go exploring without the accompaniment or encouragement from an adult. While this type of behaviour is typical for a physically literate person, they also gain physical exercise and knowledge from exploring and embarking on their own adventures.

At Young Academics, we instil physical literacy at all every age. We encourage children to engage in physical activity both indoors and outdoors at our centre and teach smart and nutritious eating habits to ensure that your child grows up with a healthy future ahead.

For more information about our centre, contact us today on 1300 668 993.

Want to join the Young Academics family? Drop your details here, and our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.

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