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J Sci Med Sport. 2017 Aug;20(8):751-755. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2016.11.019. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Motor competence and characteristics within the preschool environment.

Author information

1
Kinesiology Department, School of Professional Studies, State University of New York at Cortland, USA. Electronic address: Larissa.true@cortland.edu.
2
Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, USA.
3
Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, USA.
4
Department of Educational Studies, Wardlaw College of Education, University of South Carolina, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Environmental characteristics within preschools that influence children's motor competence are largely unknown. The purpose of the present study was to examine the contribution of various preschool environmental characteristics to children's locomotor, object control, and total gross motor scores.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional, observational study of 3-5 year-old children (n=229) from 22 preschools in South Carolina.

METHODS:

The Children's Activity and Movement in Preschool Study (CHAMPS) Motor Skills Protocol assessed MC. Preschool directors provided information regarding policies and practices. The research team measured playgrounds and classrooms, and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised assessed preschool quality. Time spent in open space and electronic media use were also assessed using direct observation. The aforementioned variables predicted children's object control, locomotor, and total gross motor scores.

RESULTS:

Classroom size/child ratio, teacher education, playground size, electronic media use, and trips to outside organizations emerged as significant predictors of locomotor score and total motor score. The object control model was non-significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Preschools may be able to promote motor competence by allowing children more time in open spaces, structured activity experiences, and by expanding existing outdoor playground space whenever possible.

KEYWORDS:

Childcare; Children; Fundamental movement skills; Motor competence; Motor development; Preschool

PMID:
28169154
PMCID:
PMC5476503
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsams.2016.11.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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