Giving Compass’ Take:
• Research from the University of Jyväskylä reveals how children developing motor skills are impacted by where they live and the activities they participate in.
• How can funders help students from all backgrounds access the resources they need to develop motor skills?
• Read more about support students need beyond academics.
In a recent study, 3 to 7-year-old children provided an example of how children’s daily living environment and motor skills are closely related in the Finnish context. The main finding revealed that residential density is related to children’s motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organized sports. It was found that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age-matched peers in the metropolitan area. On the other hand, children living in the metropolitan area participated the most in organized sports.
Motor skills comprise locomotor, object control, and balance skills, all of which are present in everyday life tasks like running, climbing and drawing. Adequate motor skills enable participation in typical games and play for different ages and developmental phases, for example, in running and ball games.
The findings suggest that the time spent outdoors and participation in organized sports support motor development. In fact, Niemistö points out that opportunities for time spent outdoors and participation in organized sports are important in terms of equality in society.
Read the full article about developing motor skills from the University of Jyväskylä at Medical Press.