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Promoting Motor Learning With Activities, Sports & Games

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  • 0:00 Motor Learning
  • 0:51 Fine Motor vs. Gross…
  • 2:04 Motor Learning Activities
  • 4:43 Developmental…
  • 5:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

In this lesson, we review ways to promote motor learning. We discuss activities, sports, and games that improve motor learning, and we discuss certain patterns and behaviors.

Motor Learning

Who doesn't cherish those first moments of learning to climb a tree or playing fun games of kickball, soccer, or frisbee? Being active does indeed enhance motor skills. However, motor learning involves a lot more than just physical activities. Learning to speak a language is a form of motor learning, and even involuntary movements such as reflexes, which are brought on by stimuli, are forms of motor learning.

In fact, our first motor skill, known as the Palmar Grasp, is reflexive and lasts until we are about six months of age. Place a toy rattle in a baby's hand and touch the palm, and he will instinctively close his hand around the rattle. Interestingly enough, the human body develops from the head down to the feet. At first, the head develops more than hand coordination, and then foot coordination develops last.

Fine Motor vs. Gross Motor Skills

Fine motor skills entail smaller movements such as writing or picking up objects. Gross motor skills entail larger movements such as running and jumping. It should be duly noted that fine motor skills as a rule tend to take longer to learn than gross motor skills. It's easy to learn to jump and splash in a mud puddle, but learning to draw a picture takes patience and can be frustrating as well.

Motor learning is defined as a change in one's ability to respond, usually brought about through practice or a new experience. There are literally thousands of activities that improve motor learning, and while the subject is very complex, in this lesson we'll introduce a few of the fun activities, sports, and games that can promote and enhance motor learning abilities.

The best activities for promoting motor learning:

  • Are inclusive and fun
  • Involve ease of use
  • Are field tested and backed by sound research
  • Force the participants to think
  • Keep participants moving and active
  • Allow for various levels of skills

Skills that should be improved include:

  • Balance and stability
  • Combined movements
  • Complex movements
  • Cooperative skills
  • Locomotor abilities
  • Manipulative skills
  • Social skills

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