Preschool attendance as a factor in the motor skill development of children
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Purpose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the motor skills of children who had already attended one year of preschool or had just begun their education. Methods. A total of 286 five- and six-year-old children were recruited from different preschools (eight preschools and three primary school preschool programs) in Gdańsk, Poland. A test battery was designed based on the children’s preschool physical education curriculum and the motor skills that should be acquired at this age. The analyzed motor tasks included: 1) walking on a balance bench, 2) crawling on an inclined balance bench, 3) running then jumping over an obstacle with one leg, 4) catching and throwing a ball over an obstacle, 5) throwing a ball against the wall and catching it, 6) climbing on a gymnastic ladder, 7) jumproping. The children were tested twice in test-retest conditions, at the beginning and end of the school year. Results. The children showed the lowest level of skills in throwing, catching, and bouncing a ball against the wall and jumproping. Conclusions. No significant differences were identified as to children’s physical abilities or between the 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds either beginning or continuing preschool.
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14 - 02 - 2014
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