Thursday, May 3, 2012

Teaching Motor Skills

The development in children of fundamental motor skills such as ball handling and locomotor skills need to be learned, practiced and practiced some more.  A recent research review in Child: Care, Health and Development aimed to determine the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children.  The results indicated the following:

1.  A significant positive effect of motor skill interventions on the improvement of fundamental motor skills in children was found.

2.  Object control and locomotor skills improved similarly from pre- to post-intervention.

3.  Overall effect size for the control groups who only had free play had no significant changes

4.  There was a a non-significant, negative correlation between effect size of pre- to post-improvement of fundamental motor skills and the duration of the intervention (in minutes).

The researchers concluded that early childhood centers should schedule motor programs to facilitate motor skill development in children. 

Pediatric occupational and physical therapists can help to educate teachers and parents on the importance of teaching and practicing fundamental motor skills.  If you need ideas check out these sensory motor books:

Sensory Motor Group Activities A to Z
Locomotor Games 
50 Sensory Motor Activities for Kids!

Reference:  Logan, S. W., Robinson, L. E., Wilson, A. E. and Lucas, W. A. (2012), Getting the fundamentals of movement: a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38: 305–315. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01307.x

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