The Head Start – Full level is the last stage of a child’s Vida Head Start Journey and is the point when the Child has mastered their Fundamental Perceptual Motor Skills with Vida. This level continues to develop the child’s understanding of tennis through motor skill activities vital to sport and everyday living, particularly tracking,hand-eye co-ordination and co-operative play.
Your child is now ready to move onto the next stage in the my Vida journey, the my Progress Program.
A child mastering their motor skills is no simple feat and marks a milestone in their development. Motor skills impact bigger muscle groups, like the arms, legs, feet, and torso. They are the first motor skills a child develops. Mastering gross motor skills helps your child develop a sense of balance and spatial awareness. Good motor skills nourish the mind/body connection needed for learning.
Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has achieved to receive their last Head Start certificate – Head Start Full:
Throwing, Kicking & Striking
- Able to under arm throw with accuracy and depth.
- Be able to throw a ball cooperatively to a partner.
- Can have a rolling “pong” tennis rally.
Catch, Interception & Tracking
- Be able to move fwd and back to different heights & number of bounce balls and catch.
- Be able to stop the ball with the racquet face and get the ball balanced on the racquet.
Locomotion, Balance & Agility
- Ability to change direction, track & catch.
- Can change direction quickly responding to vision or sound.
- Developing reaction time based on a sound response.
- Can maintain attention & concentration during mindfulness activities throughout the entire lesson.
On Certificate Question
Q. How important is the development & mastering of a child’s Fundamental Motor Skills?
A. The simple answer is vitally important. As children continue to mature, their reliance on physical interactions with people and objects remains strong. Motor skills are an essential component of development for all children. For more information read on below.
More Information from the experts at education.com (http://www.education.com/reference/article/importance-motor-skills/)
Gallahue (1993) puts it this way:
Movement is at the very center of young children’s lives. It is an important facet of all aspects of their development, whether in the motor, cognitive, or affective domains of human behavior. To deny children the opportunity to reap the many benefits of regular, vigorous physical activity is to deny them the opportunity to experience the joy of efficient movement, the health effects of movement, and a lifetime as confident, competent movers. (p. 24)
The physical activity level of young children has received increasing attention nationally because of the rapid rise in childhood obesity. Research tells us that the percentage of obese children ages 2 to 5 has doubled in the past 30 years (Ogden, Flegal, Carroll, & Johnson, 2002). This alarming rate of increase can be attributed to two main factors: “eating too much and moving too little” (Sorte & Daeschel, 2006, p. 40). Physical activities in early childhood settings are critically important in helping reduce the increased health risks associated with obese and overweight children (Epstein, 2007).
Social Skills and Physical Development
Movement activities are especially well-suited to helping children develop social skills (Pica, 2004). As children participate in group tasks that require movement, they learn that their efforts are critical to the success of the group. Coordinating the movements of the group in parachute play, for example, allows children to create a dome overhead and sit inside at the same time. Simple games like this for young children also require cooperation and positive social skills. At the elementary school level, group games such as soccer provide opportunities for children to work together for a common goal while engaging in vigorous physical activity.
Motor Activities and Emotions
Physical activity has long been viewed as a positive way to release the pent-up energy generated from strong emotions. For example, vigorous physical activity such as running outdoors is generally considered an acceptable way to get rid of angry feelings. Such activities are far more positive than aggressive interactions with other children.
More subtle, perhaps, is the use of art materials for emotional release. Children painting at the easel or molding with play dough or clay may well be playing out their feelings in a socially acceptable way. This behavior, which Freud labeled sublimation (Thomas, 1985), provides children with positive ways to work through emotions using physical activity. Bunker (1991) reminds us that children acquire self-confidence and self-esteem in part through successful physical activities. As children master and refine basic motor skills, they see themselves as more competent and capable. The preschool child who has mastered the monkey bars and exclaims for all the world to hear, “Hey, look at me!” is feeling good about himself and his accomplishment. Part of the excitement of many physical tasks is the element of risk that accompanies them.
Connections to Cognitive Development
Early childhood education is rooted in the belief that learning through doing is fundamental for young children. For example, infants beginning to crawl are working hard to master a physical skill that will enable them to explore more fully the home or school environment. At a slightly older age, walking allows toddlers to have even greater opportunities for touching, manipulating, and creating with the objects around them. During the preschool years, building with a set of blocks allows young children to learn about such mathematical concepts as proportionality and number. Finally, the refinement of fine motor skills in play makes it possible for children to succeed with writing tasks in the primary classroom.
Physical competence is fundamental to cognitive development during early childhood. Montessori (1967) stated that, for learning to reach its full potential, it must be directly connected to physical movement for the young child. This unity of mental and physical activity is at the heart of the Montessori method of education. When the motor skill is directly related to the task being learned, children can understand concepts more completely and quickly. For example, a Montessori material called the Pink Tower is a collection of pink cubes of differing sizes that are designed to be stacked from the largest on the bottom to the smallest on top. As children practice this physical task, they learn about seriation (ordering from largest to smallest), which is a concept essential to later mathematical understanding.
Physical activities provide wonderful opportunities for children to engage in an integrated curriculum. Through the use of play dough, young children are provided exciting opportunities to learn a variety of important concepts.
Further Information about your child’s development and mastering motor skills.
Between ages four and five, your child should be able to demonstrate most of the following gross motor skills:
- Ride a tricycle or bike with training wheels
- Walk on a line
- Hop on one foot for ten to fifteen seconds
- Run forward easily
- Kick a ball
- Throw a ball
- Catch a bounced or gently thrown ball
- Climb the ladder and ride down a slide
- Walk up and down stairs using alternate feet
Between ages five and six, your child should be able to demonstrate most of the following gross motor skills:
- Begin to ride a two-wheel bike without training wheels
- Balance on a low balance beam or street curb
- Skip around objects
- Hop with ease
- Jump with ease
- Jump rope
- Pump a swing
- Be able to do skating and sliding motions
- Run around obstacles
- Run forward and backward easily
- Catch an object while moving or turning
- Do Jumping Jacks
Information provided by http://www.schoolfamily.com