Nadine Devin, the project manager of Middlesex County’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge, says that about one in five children in the area either meet a few or none of the expectations for physical activity development. She says one of the reasons is we live in a sedentary society.
“If a child is very sedentary, they’re relying a lot on technology. Parents or caregivers are not giving them the opportunity or not intentionally involving them in opportunities to learn these skills,” she explains.
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge aims to teach community leaders, including parents, teachers and librarians about physical literacy. Devin defines the new concept as “the motivation, confidence and competence to be active in a range of activities and environments. She says that physical literacy skills are just as important as their academic counterpart.
“We need to give our children regular opportunities to learn their alphabet and opportunities to read in order for them to become literate,” she says, “Same can be said about physical literacy: skipping, climbing, throwing and catching to name a few skills.”
Devin adds that how much exercise a child needs daily all depends on his or her age. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines suggests up to three hours for toddlers and preschoolers, an hour of “energetic play” for those aged five and older.
There will be a training session March 9 at the Komoka Community Wellness Centre.