Every child who is developing any motor skill takes his own time to gain proficiency in that specific motor skill. The variation is natural but sometimes it is affected by the child rate of growth and the available environment which can be either promoting or discouraging for motor skill development. Children motor efficiency is based on their natural abilities as well as the environmental motivators that can come from sports or other activities. To observe the children movement pattern variation in children of 2 to 12 years of age we have chosen an activity which will test their motor movement level to be early or proficient according to their age. The children will be accessed based on their performance on Clarke & Metcalfe’s mountain of motor development which will govern their proficiency level based on their age (Fundamental Skills in Childhood, pp. 4). The activity is organized to measure their proficiency level in the motor skill of jumping. The first participant is Sean, a five-year-old boy a flat-footed boy who learned walking at the age of 1 and currently studies in the primary school in grade 3. The second participant is Cathy who is seven years old, currently studying in elementary school. And the third participant is Howard who is 11 years old.
The movement selected for observation of Sean was jumping. He was scheduled for action in the local park in the morning time. The child was asked to be calm and comfortable before his activity is recorded. The child was given an even and balanced area to perform the activity. In this action the jumping selected was a vertical jump to cover the maximum height in one leap. The child was asked to aim for maximum height he can reach in a single jump. As the child was flat-footed his jump maybe limited and not like other children at his age. Sean was asked to leap. He performed the leap, and his body movements were observed by repeating the activity three times to find the natural posture. Sean jumped less than 5-inch height, his legs were not fully extended in the jump, and overall posture was inconsistent in all three jumps. Arms were not stretched fully, and the body was less balanced in the landing phase. Sean took time to balance himself after the jump and went to crouching positing to balance the impact of the jump. The motor development of Sean was less than the average expected response for his age children. Sean ranks less efficient on his motor development stage. This less rank was due to his medical condition which effects on motor skills of children (Christian et al., 2015).
The second participant Cathy was asked to perform the same activity. Cathy has interest in sports, and she likes to hop in her free time. The environment was the same as it was for Sean. She was too asked to perform the vertical two legs jump and reach the maximum height she can. Cathy performed the jump, and her statistics as compared to average performance stats of children of her age were better. She reached a height of 1 feet away from the ground, and her posture before the jumped showed she was confident in her performance. In all three jumps, her posture was consistent; she bent more low to about 50-degree angle between her upper and lower leg to achieve the maximum height. Another factor was found interesting in her jumps was the use of arms to balance herself in the flight. In the third jump when she was landing inclined on the ground, she perfectly balanced herself by arms and bending over to the other side to prevent falling. Her movement comes in the proficient category of motor movement.
The third participant Howard is an active basketball player. He was asked to make his best vertical jump, and the results were extraordinary. He was observed to prepare more detailed for the jump. He took advantage of his basketball experience and used his arms to provide an extra push in the jump. He bent lower than Cathy before the jump and reached 2 feet height. His body was fully stretched in all attempts and arms swung from his back to forward to above his head to get the advantage of boost. His landing was the smoothest of all three children, and he did not bend down while landing. This shows the extra stability of legs and more stable bone and muscle structure. He used his sole to land stably on the ground and his toes to jump. His overall motor movement development level is found to be early, and it is observed that he rates skillful on the Clarke & Metcalfe’s mountain of motor development (Fundamental Skills in Childhood, pp. 4).
This assignment was helpful in understanding the variation in motor skills development in children. It was observed that having a medical disability effects on motor development and may decrease child’s physical proficiency level. It was also observed that taking part in sports and other extracurricular activities affect positively on the physical abilities of children and their development process is speeded up by increased stamina. However, the variation is purely natural and many children who develop late in their initial years also develop equally to their competitors who previously ranked better. The movements become more stable with time and children become confident slowly as they progress in older ages.
Christian, H., Zubrick, S. R., Foster, S., Giles-Corti, B., Bull, F., Wood, L., … & Boruff, B. (2015). The influence of the neighborhood physical environment on early child health and development: A review and call for research. Health & place, 33, 25-36.
Fundamental Skills in Childhood KHS 436 (Powerpoint slides) 1-65