In this issue of FOCUS, we highlight the importance of physical literacy, including how parents can influence their children’s health and well-being. When we make the time to play and move with our children, we set the stage for a lifetime of physical activity.
I was recently reminded of how important it is for adults to model the behaviour we hope our children will adopt. On October 13, I attended Family Day’s OPEN Doors event with my own grandchildren, aged 7 and 9. The boys were playing in the pop-up playground section with interesting objects like tires and tubes. My older grandson pulled together ropes, a tire and a handle, and then pulled the contraption over his shoulder and ran through the space calling it: “My workout machine.” When he had reached a point where he couldn’t run any longer, he turned around and raised his arms to signify victory. I marveled that, at his age, he had already incorporated the concept of movement and achievement into his play.
As it happens, both of my grandson’s parents are physically active, and both boys follow suit with Jiu-Jitsu classes and other activities. Yet, like all young children, they like their electronics and screen time. Understanding this, we strive for balance and are intentional about physical activity supporting their physical growth and development.
As our main article points out, the family is a key component in physical literacy. Family time can include so many options — in all seasons — with activities like exploratory walks, games, and bike riding. These activities are healthy, fun, and help to create great memories.