Motor Skill acquisition: from Affordances to Capabilities for Physical and Mental Health of Children
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Motor skill acquisition is essential in motor and cognitive development. It requires time and practice and kindergarten teachers can limit, discourage or encourage actions. Italian children spend lot of their time in kindergarten, which may be a great opportunity to practice physical activity and develop motor skills. With this study we want to look at the affordances (possibility of action) of Italian kindergartens and at the capabilities (real actions) in kindergartens. After signing the informed consent 434 kindergarten teachers of 16 Italian kindergartens completed a questionnaire. Often, verbally, teachers refer lack of space for physical activity, but unexpectedly we found that 55,8% of them may use a gym and 83,3% a park or a garden, related to their kindergarten. Despite they have the affordances (possibility of action) and are aware of the advantages and needs of physical activity for children only few teachers use the environmental opportunities to provide children the capabilities to implement physical activity and to increase motor development. More research is needed to study how to implement physical activity in indoor and outdoor spaces of kindergartens and how to cross from affordances to capabilities for physical and mental health.
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