What is PLAYbasic?

PLAYbasic assesses key movement skills performed by the child. The tool itself is made up of five tasks that cover the child’s physical abilities. Each ability is graded on a four-point rubric with the following categories: Initial, Emerging, Competent and Proficient.

To simplify things, we’ve broken down PLAYbasic into four subsections:

  1. Locomotor
  2. Throwing
  3. Kicking
  4. Balance

Who can use PLAYbasic?

Since PLAYbasic involves the assessment of specific skills, the evaluator must have some education in movement and motion analysis. This could include NCCP-certified coaches, exercise professionals, physiotherapists or other sport practitioners. These individuals must have the knowledge to accurately assess the child’s technique, and must be able to identify gaps and weaknesses.

For a parent: PLAYbasic provides an assessment of your child’s skills and abilities. By having a trained professional assess your child using PLAYbasic, you will gain insight into your child’s strengths, weaknesses and developmental age.

As a coach, physiotherapist, athletic therapist, exercise professional or recreation professional: Use PLAYbasic in conjunction the other PLAY tools to create a baseline assessment of the child’s current level of physical literacy. Use the baseline assessment to create goals and track improvement. You and the child should mutually establish realistic goals (where the child wants to be) and a manageable process to reach them.


  1. Ask the child to perform each of the skills/tasks listed in the first column of the PLAYbasic Form.
  2. Observe the child performing the skill and rate each skill based on the four categories provided (Initial, Emerging, Competent and Proficient).
  3. Record observations using the PLAYbasic tracking sheet located at the bottom of the form.
  4. Take Action: Review the list of ways to take action in your PLAYbasic workbook or on registered side of our website.
  5. Remember to use the PLAYbasic tool along with the other PLAY tools to see all perspectives of the child’s level of physical literacy.

Additional Information


On the right-hand side of the tool, you’ll see a column labelled “Confidence”. In this column, indicate whether the child had low confidence when performing each task.


Each question uses a 100mm scale so that the assessor may place a mark anywhere along the scale within each box. This allows the assessor to be more specific when defining the child’s ability for each task.

Remember that the top score for proficient is the very best anyone could be at the skill, regardless of age.

Example: This assessor has placed a black mark on the left-most side of the “Competent” box to identify that Child A has only just acquired the skill. This score is worth 51/100. An orange mark has been placed farther to the right side of the “Competent” box to indicate that Child B is more competent than Child A, who has just acquired the skill. This second score would be worth 63/100.