10 ways raising a physically literate child is like raising a reader
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Active for Life
1. Make reading/physical literacy a family value
Kids are born to play. They are born to , jump, and skip. They learn by what they see around them. Play as a family. Go out and enjoy learning new skills, activities, and .
2. Let them read what they enjoy/do the physical activities they enjoy
Pleasure is the greatest incentive. Kids will do what they enjoy. They will also enjoy what they are good at. This means that they might repeat a game over and over. Support and reward all games, sport, or activity your kids enjoy. And make sure you play with them.
3. Be sure they are reading/playing at an appropriate level
Remember one simple rule as you support your child in activities and sports: every kid must do the right things at the . You don’t expect your first-grader to read Shakespeare, so don’t push them into doing physical activities that they are not ready to do. More importantly, don’t enroll them in programs that might be . Instead, keep play simple and age-appropriate.
4. Don’t use reading/physical activity as a punishment.
I cringe when I see a coach or a PE teacher use physical activities as a punishment (“10 push ups for being last.”). Reverse the trend. Promote play, games, and activities as a reward. As something special to be cherished.
5. Give books/equipment as a gift
Gifts are special. They spark excitement and kids’ imaginations. Try to give your child and promote the joy of playing.
6. Let your kids see you read/be active for fun
You have a powerful modeling effect on your child. If your child sees you enjoying being active, then they will see games, activities, and sport as a normal and worthwhile part of life.
7. Don’t over-correct, don’t over-practice
One way to make certain your kids will resent reading is by pushing them to read perfectly too early. The same applies to their love of being active. Mistakes are a critical part of developing as a reader or becoming a physically literate child. Support, encourage, and guide your child.
8. Point out words/physical activity everywhere
. We are physical beings. From the prima ballerinas to top athletes, we love to see great displays of physical aptitude. But don’t forget the everyday display of skills. Encourage your child to recognize these skills everywhere. Point out everyday examples of physical ability: “Look at that. What skills does she need to do that?”
9. Set aside time for kids to read/be active on their own
Free play is essential for kids. Be sure to encourage them to play by themselves without a tablet or computer.
10. Fun, fun, and more fun
Not every child will become an avid reader or a world-class athlete. However, both literacy and physical literacy are fundamental to the development of your kids. Most youngsters are to read and move well, but like any other skill, it must be learned and repeated on a regular basis so that it becomes second nature. are the secret ingredients to learning new skills.