PlaySport for After School Leaders

PlaySport is an excellent resource for the delivery of game-based activities in after school settings. The activities included in are fun and engaging and help to build physical literacy skills.

The following glossary terms provide definitions of terminology found in the PlaySport Resource.

Getting Started


Division categories are located on the top right corner of each activity card to indicate the most appropriate age group for the activity. It’s important to note that the divisions identified are a suggestion and it’s up to the Activity Leader to select activities appropriate for the group they are working with.

Divisions by age ranges

Primary / grades 1-3 /approximate ages: 6 to 9

Junior / grades 4-6 / approximate ages: 9 to 12

Intermediate / grades 7-10 / approximate ages: 12 to 16

Senior/ grades 11-12 / approximate ages: 16 to 18


Small Space (could mean hallway, small indoor room, multi-function room, etc.)

Large Open Space (could mean gymnasium, church basement, large outdoor space, etc.)

Material/ Equipment

Limited equipment (1-3 pieces)

More than 3 pieces of equipment

Group Size

Small Group (2-3 kids)

Medium Group (4-10 kids)

Large Group (11 + kids)

Click here for a table with recommended activities

Pause for Learning

Pause for Learning is when facilitators pause the game and ask children to focus on specific skills, concepts, and strategies related to that game. Examples are given on each activity card.

Movement Competence: Movement Skills, Concepts and Strategies

Movement Skills

  • Stability Skills are used by children and youth to balance their body in one position without moving, such as standing on one foot. Stability skills also include the ability to keep the body balanced using core muscles (abdomen and back) while moving in ways such as bending, twisting, turning, and rolling.
  • Locomotion Skills are used by children and youth when they move from one spot to another. Examples include walking, running, skipping, and hopping.
  • Manipulation Skills are used by children and youth to throw, catch, kick, dribble, volley, or strike an object (e.g., a ball). Kids either apply force to, or receive force from, the object.

Movement Concepts

  • Body Awareness: The ability to understand what parts of the body move and in what way. For example, stretching leg muscles or performing bicep curls.
  • Spatial Awareness: The ability to understand where the body is moving, such as forward or backward or up or down.
  • Effort Awareness: The ability to understand how the body moves (e.g., fast or slow, with strong or light force).
  • Relationship: The ability to understand who the body moves with, such as when a child or youth shadows another, or a group moves together. This also includes an individual’s relationship to objects (e.g., being over, under, beside, on, off, etc.).

Movement Strategies

Children and youth have goals when they participate in activities and games. Examples of goals are swimming one pool length, hitting a shuttlecock, keeping possession of a soccer ball, or passing a basketball to a teammate. To achieve these goals, kids must understand their own skill level, know the rules of the activity or game, and think strategically, or make a plan, before they take action.

Living Skills

Living Skills help children and youth develop a positive sense of self, develop and maintain healthy relationships with others, and use critical and creative thinking to set goals, make decisions, and solve problems.

Personal Skills help children and youth gain a better sense of who they are. They learn to understand their strengths and capabilities, how to cope with challenges, and be responsible for their actions. Some examples of these skills are: trying out solutions to problems; practicing relaxation techniques; expressing emotions; and seeking help.

Interpersonal Skills help children and youth build relationships and interact positively with others when participating in physical activities and games. Some examples of these skills are: showing respect; working collaboratively with a partner or in a group; appreciating people’s differences; and actively listening, clarifying, questioning, and responding.

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills are used by children and youth to help them achieve goals. Some examples of these skills are: coming up ideas; finding information; evaluating ideas and information; drawing conclusions and presenting results; and reflecting on what could have been done differently.

Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) Approach

The Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) Approach centres on a child’s inherent desire to play. The concept is to teach children and youth a game by having them actually play the game. During play, game facilitators ask players questions that help them explore, discover, create, and experiment with movement and strategy.

  • Target Games are games where players throw, shoot, or aim an object at a target. Examples of target games include bowling, disc golf, curling, and wheelchair bocce.
  • Net/Wall Games include games such as badminton, squash, table tennis, and volleyball. A player’s goal is to make it difficult for the opponent or opposing team to return the propelled object back to the wall or across the net.
  • Strike/Fielding Games are games where players strike, kick, or throw an object in order to score runs, and to stop an opposing team from scoring runs in their field. Games include baseball, cricket, rounders, and softball.
  • Territory Games are games where players try to score in their opponent’s territory. Territory games are fast moving. Examples include basketball, football, rugby, hockey, and Ultimate.
  • Individual Pursuits are activities such as yoga, gymnastics and athletics. There are games in which children can work individually, with their own equipment.