Monday, December 6, 2010

Motor Planning in Toddlers

Child Development published research on movement planning in toddlers. Thirty five toddlers, ages 18-21 months, were observed building a tower with blocks or placing blocks into a container and kinematic measurements were taken. The kinematic measurements indicated that there was a longer decelerating phase when the hand approached the block for pick up versus putting into the container. In addition, toddlers who were more skillful at building the towers exhibited a longer deceleration phase when placing blocks on higher towers compared to toddlers who built lower towers. After one year the same tasks were repeated in 16 of the toddlers. The difference in the deceleration was still present between the two groups (skillful builders with higher towers versus toddlers who could only build lower towers).

Reference: Yu-ping Chen, Rachel Keen, Kerstin Rosander, Claes Von Hofsten. Movement Planning Reflects Skill Level and Age Changes in Toddlers Child DevelopmentVolume 81, Issue 6, pages 1846–1858, November/December 2010

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