The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a music/movement program on the motor rhythmic ability of 70 children, aged 48-72 months (59.67+6.38) randomly assigned to experimental (EG, n=36) and control group (CG, n= 34). The EG participated in a 20-week music/movement program, while the CG did not follow any organized physical activity. Before and after the program children’s rhythmic ability was measured using the subtest “Jump on the rhythm” of the Democritus-Psychomotor Assessment Tool for Preschool Children (PAT-PRE). According to the results of the two-way ANCOVA that was implemented, both program and gender had a statistically significant effect on children’s scores (F1,65= 222.24, p< .001, η2= .84 and F1,65= 6.60, p < .05, η2= .09 respectively) after controlling for the effect of the pre-test, while there was not a significant effect of those factors’ interaction. The children of the EG had significantly higher scores than those of the CG, while girls outperformed boys in both groups. However, effect size value of gender was moderate; consequently, these differences were not of practical importance. The current findings provide support for the beneficial effect of a developmentally appropriate music/movement program on rhythmic ability of preschool aged children.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of an exercise program emphasizing coordination on the motor proficiency of preschool aged children. One hundred and thirteen children, aged 4-6 years (M= 60.17 months, SD=6.43 months) living in Southern Greece, enrolled in the study. The 57 children of the experimental group (EG) attended the intervention program for 28 weeks, while the 56 children of the control group (CG) did not participate in any organized physical activity program. Both groups were tested with the “Democritus” Psychomotor Assessment Tool for Preschool Children (PAT-PRE) (Kambas, Aggeloussis & Gavriilidou, 2003) five times (one before program’s start, one after its end and three in the meantime). The ANOVA with repeated measures that was applied showed that, while both groups (EG and CG) displayed an improvement in their performance, the EG surpassed statistically significantly the CG at the fourth measurement and maintained that difference at the fifth one. It seems that an exercise program emphasizing coordination can notably improve children’s motor proficiency.
The purpose of this study was to compare the motor proficiency and the physical activity (PA) of preschool children with different body mass index (BMI). Fifty-three preschoolers (26 boys and 27 girls), aged 4-5 years, were divided, according to their BMI, to those with: a) normal BMI, b) overweight children and c) obese children. Their motor proficiency was determined by the ‘Motorik’ Module test battery and their PA was evaluated by using the interview ‘Interviewleitfaden zur Aktivität für Kinder von 4 bis 6 Jahren’. According to the IOTF standards, the 22.6% and 9.4% of the children were categorized, as overweight and obese, accordingly and they had no statistically significant difference in their motor performance, when compared with children with normal BMI. However, the weekly participation in at least 60 min daily accumulation of physical activity, was significant lower (MD=1.80, p<.05) in obese children than normal weight peers. The results of the present study are particularly useful, for those who are involved in pre-school education, as they suggest that physical inactivity is strongly related to obesity in preschool children and notify the necessity of Physical Education in the Greek nursery school.