Physical literacy starts early

What is physical literacy? It’s the physical ability, motivation and confidence to be active for life. Teaching physical literacy skills to children will give them the lifelong ability to participate in and enjoy physical activities, which will positively impact their physical and mental health as they grow. Part of any child’s healthy development is the development of those physical skills, as well as a healthy attitude towards being active.

But no one is simply born with skills like running, jumping or throwing a ball. Kids need to be taught these things, and once they have those skills, they’re set up to love physical activity for the rest of their lives.

You can teach your child physical literacy by choosing to be active together on a regular basis. This can even start from infancy! Signing up for a parented program that requires your involvement is a great way to strengthen your family bond and model positive behaviour. Not only will your child spend that time being active, you will too. Everyone benefits!

Where should you start?

There are so many great programs out there, and it’s important to find one that works for you and your family so that you all enjoy attending. Places like the YMCA put an emphasis on teaching physical literacy skills and thoughtfully work towards that literacy through their programs — and they have fun programs for every age from infancy through school-age.

If you’re a new parent looking for a way to spend time with your baby while staying active, Baby & Me classes in everything from aquatic fitness to barre are available at the YMCA of Northern Alberta’s four Edmonton locations. And if you have a membership, all of these classes are free!

Families with preschool-aged kids can also benefit from an active program. If your kids are older than infants but younger than six, the YMCA also has a great selection of parented and unparented programs for young kids, such as Gym & Swim, Pre-Sport and Creative Movement. These programs are only $10 for an 8-week session for Y members.

Try the gift of an active experience this Christmas

Registration for winter programs that start in January is now open at the YMCA. Register now, and you can stuff your kids’ stockings with gifts that will set them up to be active for life!

The YMCA of Northern Alberta is dedicated to helping children and their families be strong and healthy. Visit for more information on how we’re strengthening the foundations of community every day!