Fundamental movement skill mastery in six-year-old preschool children

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Introduction Growing evidence exists on low prevalence of fundamental movement skill (FMS) mastery of preschool as well as of primary school children (Cools et al., 2009). Since motor proficiency is an important chain in a physical active lifestyle,the aim of this study was to examine the FMS mastery in 6 to 6 ½ year-old Flemish pre-school children. Methods Two hundred thirty six 6-
year-old Flemish pre-school children (N=236) were individually assessed with the Motoriktest für Vier- bis Sechsjährige Kinder (MOT 4-6).
Children's performances on 17 tasks were rated on a 3-point scale (0,1,2) and generated a Total Score (TS) of 34. Descriptive analyses were used to report frequencies and percentiles of scores. Tasks were grouped in four performance areas: Stability, Locomotion, Object control and Fine motor skills. Results Mean TS was 20.78 (SD= 5.7), without significant gender differences. A 2/2 score was obtained by
more than 50% of the children in tasks of three different performance areas: stability (forward balance), fine motor skills (placing dots,grasping a tissue) and locomotion (passing through a hoop, height jump, turning jump). A 0/2 score was obtained by more than 30% of the Flemish pre-school children in tasks of two performance areas: stability (backward balance) and object control skills (throwing at a target, catching a ring). Discussion Although only few studies have explored FMS mastery at 6 years of age, results show similar trends as other studies (Okely, 2004). Considering the percentages of children in our study that perform poor on FMS, it is clear that on certain skills a lot of children still have difficulties at the age of 6. In general, prior attention should be paid to improvement of backward balance,throwing and catching skills. As object control skill proficiency, rather than locomotor skills, appear to be more crucial to predict PA in adolescence (Barnett, 2009), object control activities need to be more encouraged in early childhood. References Barnett, L.M., van Beurden,E., Morgan, P.J., Brooks, L.O., Beard, J.R. (2009). Childhood Motor Skill Proficiency as a Predictor of Adolescent Physical Activity, Journal of Adolescent Health, 44: 252-259 Cools, W., De Martelaer, K., Andries, C., Samaey, C & Vandaele B. (2009). Fundamental movement skill development of four to six year-old pre-school children in Flanders. Contemporary Sports, Leisure and Ergonomics, (eds.) Thomas Reilly and Greg Atkinson, Routledge: London, 25, 335-352 Okely, A.D., Booth, M.L. (2004). Mastery of fundamental movement skills among children in New South Wales: prevalence and sociodemographic distribution, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 7(3): 258-372
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 16th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
EditorsN. Tim Cable, Keith Georg
PublisherORIEL, Liverpool
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)978-0-9568903-0-6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


Period1/01/11 → …

Bibliographical note

Cable,N. Tim; Georg, Keith


  • MOT 4-6
  • Early Childhood
  • Motor Competence
  • Psychomotor Performance


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