Camps that improve physical literacy

Develop the enjoyment of an active lifestyle and healthy living

Physical literacy is:
• Interest and pleasure in movement and healthy living
• Athleticism

Camp offers a wealth of experiences, with kids “encountering many different sports and skills that focus on the experience,” as Natalie Toman of ParticipACTION tells it. Below the list, read more about the value of physical literacy from Toman, and learn how camp fosters and deepens this appreciation. Read more




List of camps and programs that foster physical literacy in kids and teens

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  • Performing Arts (multi)
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  • Water Sports (multi)

  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 8 to 12 (Girls)
  • From $499

Fun wellness activities layered with empowering coaching to build positive self-image, emotional intelligence and confidence. Read more

artscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingpaintingphotographycitlitprogramleadershipmultileadershiptrainingsocialjusticesupercampnatureenvironmentwritingmeditationmindfulnesstrainingnutritionpilatesstrengthandconditioningweightlossprogramhikingyogaeducationeducationleadershipmultidaycampallgirls4998-122022-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 12 to 18 (Girls)
  • From $179

Mindful activities like yoga, meditation, self-care, emotional resilience, confidence-building activities, and girl bonding. Read more

meditationmindfulnesstrainingpilatesstrengthandconditioningweightlossprogramyogasportssportsyogavirtualprogramallgirls17912-182021-10-012021-11-01
  • Online
  • Age 10 to 14 (Girls)
  • From $179

A weekly virtual gathering designed to develop courage, strength, and personal truth, as well as the skills to empower them Read more

citlitprogramleadershipmultileadershiptrainingsocialjusticesupercamppublicspeakingmindfulnesstrainingnutritionpilatesstrengthandconditioningyogahealthandfitnessmultivirtualprogramallgirls17910-142021-10-012021-11-01
  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 8 to 12 (Girls)
  • From $499

Radiant Girls bloom with adventure, studio art, gentle yoga, spa activities, empowering discussions, and tons of summer fun! Read more

artscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingpaintingphotographycitlitprogramleadershipmultileadershiptrainingsocialjusticesupercampnatureenvironmentmeditationmindfulnesstrainingnutritionpilatesstrengthandconditioningweightlossprogramhikingyogatraditionalmultiactivitydaycampallgirls4998-122022-07-01
  • Online
  • Age 10 to 16 (Girls)
  • From $179

This program is designed to inspire girls to get moving, with olympian guest speakers each week! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultipaintingphotographyentrepreneurshipleadershiptrainingleadershipmultisupercamppublicspeakingmindfulnesstrainingstrengthandconditioningyogahealthandfitnessmultivirtualprogramallgirls17910-162021-11-012021-12-01
  • West-End, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $90

Program designed for players to receive specific coaching to develop their skills through games and skill building activities Read more

soccerballsportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultiprogramclasscoed904-132021-09-01
  • East-York, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $150

Program designed for players to receive specific coaching to develop their skills through games and skill building activities Read more

soccerballsportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultiprogramclasscoed1504-112021-09-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600

Our Basketball Camp provides campers ages 7-13 an opportunity to build their skills on a full-sized indoor basketball court! Read more

ropescoursewildernessskillsbakingdecoratingcookingmagicperformingartsmultimusicaltheatretheatreartsartscraftsvisualartsmulticomicartdrawingpaintingpapiermachephotographypotterywoodworkingroboticstechnologycitlitprogramleadershipmultileadershiptraininglegonatureenvironmentarcherybaseballsoftballballsportsmultibasketballgagagolflacrosserugbysoccertennisvolleyballcyclingmountainbikingextremesportsmultiskateboardingfootballgymnasticshikinghockeyhorsebackridingequestriankaratemartialartspingpongrockclimbingsportsinstructionalandtrainingtrampolineultimatefrisbeeswimmingwatersportsmultisportssportsbasketballballsportsmultidaycampcoed6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600

Lake Days Camp provides campers with the opportunity to tackle challenging inflatables, kayak, play volleyball and more! Read more

strengthandconditioningvolleyballballsportsmulticanoeingwatersportsmultidivingkayakingseakayakingsailingmarineskillsswimmingsportssportswatersportsmultidaycampcoed6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • East-End, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $55

Prepare for your day by waking your body with active stretching, core and movement work. Read more

legomindfulnesstrainingstrengthandconditioningweightlossprogramkaratemartialartssportsinstructionalandtrainingyogasportssportsmartialartsprogramclasscoed554-122021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-012022-06-01
  • East-End, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $68

After School Karate - pick up from local schools, daily Karate class - free playtime at our activities and Lego stations Read more

artscraftsvisualartsmultidrawinginstructorleadoneononeacademictutoringmultilegomindfulnesstrainingstrengthandconditioningweightlossprogramkaratemartialartssportsinstructionalandtrainingsportssportsmartialartsprogramclasscoed684-122021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-012022-06-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600

Our Soccer Camp provides campers ages 7-13 an opportunity to build their soccer skills on a full-sized turf Soccer Field! Read more

ropescoursewildernessskillsbakingdecoratingcookingmagicperformingartsmultimusicaltheatretheatreartsartscraftsvisualartsmulticomicartdrawingpaintingpapiermachephotographypotterywoodworkingroboticstechnologycitlitprogramleadershipmultileadershiptraininglegonatureenvironmentarcherybaseballsoftballballsportsmultibasketballgagagolflacrosserugbysoccertennisvolleyballcyclingmountainbikingextremesportsmultiskateboardingfootballgymnasticshikinghockeyhorsebackridingequestriankaratemartialartspingpongrockclimbingsportsinstructionalandtrainingtrampolineultimatefrisbeeswimmingwatersportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultidaycampcoed6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • West-End, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $150

Program designed for players to receive specific coaching to develop their skills through games and skill building activities Read more

soccerballsportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultiprogramclasscoed1504-112021-09-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 6 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $210

Program designed for players to receive specific coaching to develop their skills through games and skill building activities Read more

soccerballsportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultiprogramclasscoed2106-192021-09-012021-10-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 4 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $120

Program designed for players to receive specific coaching to develop their skills through games and skill building activities Read more

soccerballsportsmultisportssportssoccerballsportsmultiprogramclasscoed1204-132021-09-01


Physical literacy defined

“Physical literacy,” says Natalie Toman, is “the confidence to engage in physical activity … If kids are getting out there and are enjoying [an activity],” skill comparisons to others don’t matter as much as the fact that “they’re enjoying the sport itself.” In her role as Health Promotion Lead at ParticipACTION, Toman emphasizes that kids’ joy in sport “really lends itself to [current and future] physical literacy. If [later in life], they can remember having fun when they were kids and being physically active, they’re more likely to repeat that experience.”

To her, physical literacy consists of “feeling really confident, wanting to engage and hopefully [adopt activity] for the rest of your life.” This involves knowledge of the benefits of exercise, a sense of motivation and a willingness to engage in activities they enjoy. 

Why is physicality beneficial?

“There’s a connection between physical literacy in childhood and adulthood,” she says. “Adults who are physically literate tend to be more active.” It’s important to develop physical literacy as early as possible, to create a foundation that children can carry forward into adulthood. “As we get older, it’s really important that physical activity be a part of our lives.” It helps with both injury prevention and disease prevention, she says. 

Physical activity also: 

  • reduces the risk of medical conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • results in a healthier heart and lungs 
  • improves sleep schedules 
  • increases flexibility
  • helps control weight 

In addition, there’s also a mental health boost from physical activity. It can boost your mood, enhance self-esteem, and reduce stress, depression and anxiety. In addition, children who participate in a team sport like soccer learn how to be physically active with other people, enhance social skills, and learn the value of teamwork. 

How to assess physical literacy

“For a person watching,” Toman explains, “physical literacy can be seen by the enjoyment of a child, through their confidence and ability.” She believes that a good way to measure physical literacy is to see how a child responds to a physical activity. “When you see a group of children together, a physically literate child would be the one who would jump right into a sport or physical endeavour.” ‘

In contrast, a child does not reflect this behaviour may not be as physically literate. This, too, though, can be seen as an opportunity to enhance their ability. “When you see a child who doesn’t jump right to it, perhaps we should look a little bit at the environment, the opportunity, and see how we can help that child develop the confidence and interest [level] to want to be involved with physical activity.” 

An important part of physical literacy is kids’ interaction with friends and appreciation for outdoors.

How is physical literacy developed?

“Opportunity is a big part of physical literacy,” says Toman. “It would be really hard for one to develop physical literacy if there wasn’t an opportunity to do so.” Camp, she says “is a strong influencer in physical literacy in children.” There are other environments, too, that develop and nurture the growth of physical literacy, but camp is as good as any, in motivating children to be physically active through things like outdoor play-time and group activities, as well as gym time.  

Encourage your child to take part in camps and activities they enjoy. This will motivate them to remain physically active outside of camp and school . For example, if they go to basketball camp, they’ll practice basketball at home as well. A camp with physical activity will encourage kids to reduce screen-time and direct more energy to physical activity. An important part of physical literacy is kids’ increased activity, interaction with friends and appreciation for outdoors. 

Prior to ParticipACTION, Toman worked in several day camps, leading outdoor activities there. Here, she learned the importance of role modeling for children.“If [adults] are going to express good physical literacy, [they need to prioritize] role modelling.” If your child sees you participate in healthy eating and physical activity, they’re more likely to do the same. Leaders at camps with high physical activity are also critical, either as reinforcement, or in the absence of other models.

Other physically active things you can do together include walks, bike rides, swimming or skating. You can also encourage your child to help around the house, with preparing a healthy recipe, gardening or raking leaves. 

Through all this, though, she stresses the importance of enjoyment in physicality, over any focus on competition or skill perfection. “We want to [ensure] children are encountering many different sports and skills,” she emphasizes, “and that [they focus on the] experience.” Fun, enjoyment, and learning are key to developing physical literacy, whereas any focus on competition and winning can sometimes thwart or frustrate the development of this important character trait. 

Want your child to enhance their physical literacy?

ParticipACTION provides opportunities to both children and adults so they can develop physical literacy by focusing on skill accruement. The organization focuses on developing children’s confidence while performing physical actvities. 

Of course, camps like those below offer an emphasis on physical activity and the development of a physical literacy that’s personal for each child. These provide a foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment in exercise and fitness, because they make it fun, social, and engaging.



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