Several studies show a high decline in coordinative motor skills in childhood (Roth et al., 2009). For this reason, promotion of physical activity and motor skills appear to be a valuable mean to improve children’s development in today’s kindergartens. The purpose of the investigation was to study the effects of a specific training program to train gross motor skills in kindergarten children. Forty-one preschool children (27 females and 14 males) were cluster randomized into either a control group [CG] (n: 19; age: 4.68+/-0.82 years; height: 1.11+/-0.07 m; weight: 21.51+/-4.88 kg) and a trained group [TG] (n: 22; age: 4.55+/-0.51 years; height: 1.12+/-0.06 m; weight: 21.95+/-4.87 kg). The Test of Gross Motor Development was used to test loco-motor abilities and object- control skills. The test evaluates 12 abilities of which seven locomotor skills (run, gallop, jump on the same foot, jump forward, long jump, little jumps forward and laterally) and five object-control skills (catch a ball with a tennis racket, bounce of the ball from stationary posture, catch the ball with two-hand, kick the ball running, throw a ball with a hand). Raw, standard and Gross Motor Development Quotient (GMDQ) were calculated for each participant. TG was trained for 4 weeks by two sessions/week. In particular, every trained session included: a warm up period (~10 min), a training period (~540 min) including exercises to train locomotor and object-control skills, cool down period (~10 min). CG did not perform any sport activity during the experimentation. All data were acquired before and after the experimentation. Data showed that TG improved raw, standard scores and GMDQ than CG after the training period. In particular we found a 90% and 137% improvement in locomotor skills and object-control skills respectively after 4 weeks of exercise training. So, our training program appear to be able to improve gross motor skill performance in preschool children in agreement with Matvienko’s study (2010) that showed as an intense and short school training program can generate sustainable improvements in motor skill and fitness levels in kindergarten and first-grade students. Matvienko O, Ahrabi-Fard I.: The effects of a 4-week after-school program on motor skills and fitness of kindergarten and first-grade students. Am J Health Promot. 2010;24(5):299-303Roth K, Ruf K, Obinger M, Mauer S, Ahnert J, Schneider W, Graf C, Hebestreit H. Is there a secular decline in motor skills in preschool children? Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010;20(4):670-8.
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|