Promoting gross motor skills in toddlers: the active beginnings pilot cluster randomized trial
This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and potential efficacy of a gross motor skill program for toddlers. An 8-wk. skills program in which children practiced three skills was implemented for 10 min. daily in two randomly designated childcare centers. Two other centers served as the control group. Recruitment and retention rates were collected for feasibility. Data on professional development, children's participation, program duration, and appropriateness of the lessons were collected for acceptability, and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and Get Skilled, Get Active (total of 28 points) were used to look at the potential efficacy. The participants were 60 toddlers (M age = 2.5 yr., SD = 0.4; n = 29 boys), and the retention rate was 95%. Overall participation was 76%, and educators rated 98% of the lessons as appropriate. Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements in motor skills (p < .05, Cohen's d = 1.13). This study shows that a brief intervention, which is easy to integrate on a daily basis in childcare settings, can improve motor skills among toddlers.
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