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Physical literacy checklist: 4-6 years |

Physical literacy checklist: 4-6 years

active for life, physical activityGuest Blog Post
Jim Grove

Physical literacy checklist: 4-6 years |

Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

These are some basic fundamental movement skills that your preschool child should be learning, and mastering. These contribute to your child becoming physically literate.

1. Running

By age four, your child should be running with confidence. You want to make sure she continues to run and to develop her strength and balance, as running is essential to many sports and activities.

Tips: Play regular tag games with your child, challenge her to impromptu sprint races at the park, and look at introductory programs in sports such as soccer by age six.

2. Throwing & catching

As so many sports and activities involve throwing and catching – baseball, basketball, football, volleyball to name a few – you really want to continue to develop your child’s skills in these areas. Basic proficiency in these skills will allow her to participate with friends in dozens of sports for years to come without feeling left out.

Tip: Play throwing and catching games with a soft ball at home. Look into fun multisport kids programs such as Sportball, and consider introductory programs in baseball and softball around age six if your child is keen.

3. Falling & tumbling

Believe it or not, falling is an important skill. Kids who never learn to fall or tumble may be more prone to injury during activity because they don’t know how to tuck their head, knees, and arms as they hit the ground.

Tip: Register your child in an introductory gymnastics program. Rolling and tumbling are the first things they learn!

4. Hopping & jumping

Hopping and jumping are fundamental skills for a multitude of sports and activities ranging from dance to track and field. You might think that hopping and jumping are things that kids just do naturally, but these skills needs to be practiced as much as any other movement skills to develop balance and agility.

Tip: Introduce your child to games such as hopscotch and jump rope, and look into early physical literacy programs such as Run Jump Throw.

5. Skipping

There’s a lot more to skipping than meets the eye. Being able to skip requires mastery of a complex mix of balance, rhythm, and coordination. (Note that we are talking about the locomotor skill that gets you from point A to point B, and not “skipping” rope, which is really a jumping or hopping activity.)

Tip: Show your child how to skip by singing songs like “Skip to My Lou” and skipping in a circle or as dance partners.

6. Cycling

Riding a bike is an essential rite of childhood. It also provides the foundation for all cycling sports as it builds balance, coordination and strength on two wheels.

Tip: Get your child a bike and helmet that fits her, and look into introductory learn-to-ride programs such as Pedalheads if you’re not confident teaching her how to cycle.

Check out our physical literacy checklists for ages:

Physical literacy checklist: 4-6 years |

Active for Life is a non-profit organization committed to helping parents raise happy, healthy, physically literate kids. For more articles like this one, please visit

Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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