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Physical Literacy - Early Years

Babies on their tummies, toddlers learning to crawl, young children learning balance and coordination, these are all physical literacy skills. When young children have the opportunity to learn a wide range of fundamental movement skills, sequences and tasks, they will have more confidence and competence to participate in activities and games. As children develop more confidence and competence to try different physical activities they develop a foundation to be active throughout their life.


Keeping your children physically active in the early years can help the young child:

  • Improve movement skills
  • Increase fitness
  • Build a healthy heart
  • Have fun and feel happy
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Be at a healthy weight
  • Improve learning and attention

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers

For infants (aged less than 1 year) the focus should be on tummy time, reaching and grabbing for toys, playing or rolling on the floor and crawling. Provide a safe environment with active supervision.

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers should be encouraged to participate in a variety of age-appropriate, enjoyable, safe physical activities that support their healthy growth and development. Patience and encouragement will help them build confidence. Look for activities that can be done together and be a role model for physical activity.

Active for Life provides a list of activities for babies and toddlers that will develop their physical literacy.

Providing opportunities for your child to develop the basic movement skills early in life will build their confidence, competence and self-esteem to lead healthy active lives.

Date of creation: September 23, 2014
Last modified on: July 30, 2019