Frequently Asked Questions about PLAY

1.  What is “PLAY”?

PLAY stands for Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth. It’s a collection of workbooks, forms and tracking sheets that comprise the tools designed to assess/observe physical literacy in children and youth.

2.  What can the PLAY Tools do for me?

The PLAY Tools were designed to provide information related to physical literacy of children and youth, ages 2 and up. These tools can be used for research, for program evaluation, for engagement of children & parents, for surveillance, and for awareness. The ultimate goal is to use PLAY Tools to aid in developing individual or group programming for the development of physical literacy as it is the gateway to an active lifestyle. The PLAY Tools can be used to measure and track physical literacy over time.

3.  How do I use the PLAY Tools?

There are six PLAY Tools currently available online (see below for a list of tools). Each tool provides a different perspective of a child’s level of physical literacy and can be used by people who work with children in a variety of ways.

To use the PLAY Tools, identify which of the 6 tools you would like to gain insight from. Locate an appropriate person to fill out the tool-specific form. Review the scores for each PLAY tool used to identify areas of improvement. Use the tracking sheets from each PLAY tool used to track the child’s progress for each activity.

4.  Who can use the PLAY Tools?

The PLAY Tools are intended for specific people to fill out the forms. However, the tools are useful for anyone looking to gain insight into a child’s level of physical literacy.

For example, a coach might ask parents to fill out PLAYparent because the coach wants to gain a better understanding of physical literacy in their players. The coach is using the information from PLAYparent that has been provided by the parent. Conversely, a parent could ask the coach of their child’s team to fill out PLAYcoach. The parent would now be the one using the information from PLAYcoach provided by the coach.

Of the six PLAY Tools created, there are five tools to be used by specific people and one tool that can be used by everyone.

5. What does each tool do?

PLAYfun and PLAYbasic are used by trained professionals to assess a child’s fundamental skills, such as running, throwing, kicking and balance.

PLAYself is used by children and youth to assess/observe their own physical literacy.

PLAYparent is used by parents of school-aged children to assess/observe their child’s level of physical literacy.

PLAYcoach is used by coaches, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, exercise professionals and recreation professionals to record their perceptions of a child’s level of physical literacy.

PLAYinventory is used by anyone to record and track a child’s leisure-time activities throughout the year.

6. What qualifications do I need to use PLAYfun and PLAYbasic?

PLAYfun and PLAYbasic require the assessor/observer to be able to identify the specific differences between movements at initial, emerging, competent and proficient stages.

To use PLAYfun and PLAYbasic, ideally the person using the tools would have some training to make effective use of these tools. For example, NCCP-trained coaches, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, exercise professionals, physical educators and individuals trained in movement analysis are all considered to be “trained professionals.” That said, practitioners, parents, coaches or others who don’t have that type of training but who spend time to study and learn the tools can also make effective use of the PLAY Tools.

7. How long does it take to complete one of the assessments?

Each assessment/observation typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the number of children being assessed/observed.

8. How many of the different PLAY assessments should I use?

The more time you spend observing or assessing children using the PLAY Tools, the more complete view you will get regarding a child’s physical literacy development.

However, even using more simple tools such as PLAYbasic will provide you with important insights.

9. Is there an age limit for the assessments/observations?

The PLAY tools can be used for anyone above the age of five and they have no upper age limit.

That being said, each PLAY workbook gives recommendations for children in the 5–12 age range. Also, the optimal time to develop physical literacy is during the Active Start, FUNdamentals and Learn to Train stages of Sport for Life’s Long-Term Development framework.

10. Is there a tool that can be used to observe/assess children younger than five?

PrePLAY is a supplementary tool that can be used to assess/observe children between 18 months to kindergarten entry.

11. Can the PLAY tools be used for persons with a disability?

AdaptedPLAY is a modified version of PLAYbasic that can be administered by a trained professional to determine the level of physical literacy in children and youth with disabilities.

12. How do I learn more about how to use the PLAY database for recording and analyzing observations/assessment?

Visit the PLAY website and set up a Leader Account. Once you create an account login, there is a helpful Leader Guide that can answer all your questions!