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July 5, 2018

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Preschool Physical Literacy: Supporting Adults to Create Motivated, Confident, Competent and Resilient Children

The science is clear - the first five years of a child's life set the trajectory for lifelong learning, success, and health. Following the metaphor that building a child's brain is like building a house, adults who work with or parent young children need to pay attention to all four walls of the house - cognitive, social, emotional, and physical. Combined with attention to the other developmental domains, physical literacy is a crucial component of overall healthy development of children. And physical literacy builds "resiliency by design" as motivation, confidence, and competence (a simplified definition of physical literacy) are cornerstones to resilience. Over the past many months, Mount Royal and McMaster Universities have been collaborating with support from CS4L, the Trillium Foundation, and Alberta Sport Connect to test the preschool Physical Literacy Observation Tool (PLOT) for validity, reliability, and sensitivity in child care centres in both Ontario and Alberta. As part of these studies, a comprehensive set of materials, including an updated revision to the Hop Skip and Jump Resource Manual and Planning Guide, were developed to support caregivers in observing children's physical literacy, creating appropriate environments both indoors and out, and planning activities that encourage children to learn and develop skills through active play. This presentation will discuss current data from the testing of the PLOT and the related intervention materials to promote overall healthy development of resilient children.

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