What is PLAY?

What is PLAY? Physical Literacy Assessments for Youth

PLAY stands for Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth. It’s a series of physical literacy observation tools that were developed by Sport for Life to determine the level of an individual’s physical literacy.

PLAY Objectives: 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 tools can be used separately or in combination to provide insight into a child’s status in their physical literacy journey.

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. 

We know that today’s children and youth are much less active than in the past. In the interests of their long-term health and wellness, we need to help them become more active and stay active.

The first step is to help them develop their physical literacy

PLAY comprises a suite of tools:

PLAYfun is used by a trained professional* to assess a child in 18 fundamental skills/tasks, such as running, throwing, kicking and balance.

PLAYbasic is a simplified version of PLAYfun that can be administered quickly by a trained professional in movement analysis to provide a snapshot of a child’s level of physical literacy.

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

PLAYparent is used by parents of school-aged children to 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 a form used to record and track a child’s leisure time activities throughout the year

PLAYself, PLAYparent and PLAYcoach are forms used to supplement the skill observations, PLAYbasic and PLAYfun.

*Trained professionals: coaches, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, exercise professionals, and individuals trained in movement analysis.

The PLAY tools were created by Dr. Dean Kriellaars, of the University of Manitoba, for Sport for Life. For more information, visit the PLAY Tools Frequently Asked Questions.