Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

Physical literacy

Physical literacy is about having the skills and confidence to move in a number of different ways in a wide variety of situations.  You often see or hear the term “fundamental movement skills” or FMS when the topic is physical literacy.  

FMS are the basic building blocks of movement – there are 12 in all.  They include being able to dodge, hop, skip, roll over on the floor, stand on one leg, jump, kick, dribble, throw overhand and sideways, catch, and run. 

You can see that just about any sport or physical activity requires one or more of these basic skills.  Without them , it’s hard to get take part.  For example, if you can’t run, then you can’t play soccer, basketball, volleyball, track and field, or squash.

Physical literacy builds confidence and enables people of all ages to be physically active.  Too much time in front of a television, computer or game console robs kids of the opportunity to learn basic skills.  If they don’t have the basic skills, they won’t be able to participate in physical activities and sports.  It’s a vicious cycle!

A recent Canadian survey found that

  • 93 percent of Canadians agree that physical activity is essential for children’s healthy growth and development
  • 86 percent agree that physical activity helps maintain healthy weights
  • 84 percent agree that physical activity helps build confidence
  • 77 percent agree that physically active kids tend to do better in school

To learn more about physical literacy and how you can equip your child with basics, watch these videos developed by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association with your child, and then go outside and play catch or build a snowman!. 

For parents and kids aged 4-9:

For parents and kids aged 8- 13:

For parents and kids aged 12-18: