Preschool Physical Literacy Assessment

The Preschool Physical Literacy Assessment (PrePLAY) was developed by researchers with expertise in motor development in early childhood for educators who work with children ages 18 months to kindergarten entry. The PrePLAY was developed for children at all levels of physical literacy within this age range, but was not developed to identify delay. If you have concerns about a delay, we recommend using a tool designed to detect delay.

PrePLAY was designed for early childcare settings as these settings offer important opportunities to support children in developing physical literacy. Results from the PrePLAY might be helpful for planning class activities that can strengthen children’s physical literacy. In the preschool space, developing physical literacy involves encouraging children to experiment with many different physical activities and movement skills. The focus should be on emphasizing creativity and problem-solving with movement (e.g. different ways to hit a target, or move through an obstacle course), and how to structure movement activities that are fun.

What is physical literacy?

Physical literacy takes a holistic view of a child that includes their competence in movement along with how they think and feel about movement and their movement abilities.    

Why is physical literacy important?

Physical literacy is important for setting a strong foundation for healthy physical activity behaviours. Children who are physically literate are more likely to participate in physical activity and develop more active habits. We need to consider all areas of physical literacy to better support a child’s development. For example, strategies and activities to support a child who really enjoys moving, but appears to need support with movement skills would be different from a child who is able to demonstrate movement skills, but is not motivated to engage in physical activities.