Children need movement
When children – especially preschool children – aren’t active every day, there can be negative consequences for their health and development. As preschool years are important for developing health-based activities, interventional programmes are particularly effective in helping develop or prevent children’s weaknesses at this age. Preschool children need daily movement and practice in learning to coordinate the large muscles in their upper and lower limbs and the small muscles in their hands and fingers (Goldfield et al, 2012).
Children’s motor experiences are important for their physical development, as well as promoting social and emotional development by preparing children for school and for life beyond education (Gehris et al, 2015). The experiences children gain through movement are so-called ‘primary experiences’ and are gained directly through personal agency, their bodies and senses, and through trial and error and experimentation. Kindergartens and nurseries are an ideal place to gain these experiences (Zimmer, 2006).
How a Psychomotor Intervention Program can impact motor skills
While motor development is an internal or innate process driven by a biological or genetic time clock, the child’s environment may change the rate of this process (Haywood, Getchell, 2020). The implementation of a Psychomotor Intervention Program in children aims at supporting the development of all their personality traits with a focus on positive self-confidence. The Psychomotor Intervention Program is a therapy which focuses on experiences, body awareness and physical activities in its approach to integrating the cognitive and emotional aspects of an individual’s functioning (Probst et al, 2010).
Reviewing the literature
Our review followed the guidelines for preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analyses. Searches were conducted in the Pubmed and Google Scholar databases. We used three central key elements: Psychomotor Interventions Program, motor skills and preschool children. Articles were screened by title, abstract and full text for eligibility. Studies were included if they met the following criteria:
(1) the study was published between 2008 and 2022,
(2) the study examined the effect of a Psychomotor Intervention Program on motor skills,
(3) the study included children aged from 3 to 6 without a neurological, motor or sensory problem.
After the application of inclusion criteria, a total of eight studies were identified for inclusion in our review.
According to the results of all the surveys, there was a statistically significant improvement in pupils’ motor skills who participated in the Psychomotor Intervention Program. The results showed that interventional programs affect the motor skills and the motor profile of children. The structures of preschool age groups can play an important role in strengthening the motor skills and physical activity, but also of the child’s entire personality. Further research is needed in order to draw safe conclusions on the characteristics of good interventions for impact in areas of children’s personality.
In conclusion, it can be concluded that further research is needed in order to draw firm conclusions about the characteristics of good interventions to impact on children’s personality domains. Early childhood structures can play an important role in enhancing the whole personality of the child. The results show that a Psychomotor Intervention Program not only affects the motor profile, but also positively influences other areas of children’s personality. Early childhood and primary education structures can play a key role in strengthening the child’s whole personality.
- Haywood, K M, Getchell, N, (2020), Life Span Motor Development (7th ed) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, USA
- Gehris, J S, et al, (2015) Teachers’ perceptions about children’s movement and learning in early childhood education programmes. Child: care, health and development, 41(1), 122-131. doi.org/10.1111/cch.12136
- Goldfield, G Set al, (2012) Physical activity promotion in the preschool years: A critical period to intervene. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(4), 1326–1342. www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/9/4/1326
- Probst, M, et al, (2010), Psychomotor therapy and psychiatry: What’s in a name. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 2(1), 105–113. benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOALTMEDJ/TOALTMEDJ-2-105.pdf
- Zimmer, R, (2006), Handbuch der Psychomotorik: Theorie und Praxis der psychomotorischen Förderung von Kindern. Freiburg: Herber.