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Preschoolers’ motor skill development connected to school readiness

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Preschoolers’ fine and gross motor skill development is indicative of later performance on two key measures of kindergarten readiness, according to a study published today by researchers from Oregon State University. Preschoolers who performed better on fine and gross motor skill assessments early in the school year were more likely to have better social behavior and “executive function,” or ability to pay attention, follow directions and stay on task later in the school year, scientists said. “Physical activity and motor skills are important for preparing for school and for life,” said Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and lead author of the study.”Now that we know these things are linked to school readiness, we have more tools to share with parents and educators so they can help young children be ready for school.” The findings were published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and supported by the Environmental Health Sciences Center and the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families at OSU and OSU-Cascades. The work included an interdisciplinary team of researchers.”(more)

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