Original Research

Enhancing visual-motor integration and visual perception of 6-year-old children

Elna van der Merwe, Catelen Briedenhann, Bianka Reyneke
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 13, No 1 | a1353 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v13i1.1353 | © 2023 Elna van der Merwe, Catelen Briedenhann, Bianka Reyneke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2023 | Published: 15 November 2023

About the author(s)

Elna van der Merwe, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Catelen Briedenhann, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Bianka Reyneke, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Perceptual motor development is crucial during early childhood and not properly addressing it in physical education (PE) can be detrimental.

Aim: To determine the effect of a South African curriculum-aligned PE intervention on the visual-motor integration (VMI), visual perception (VP) and motor coordination (MC) of 6-year-old children.

Setting: Quintile 3 schools in Mangaung, Free State Province, South Africa.

Methods: Grade 1 children from two quintile 3 schools in Mangaung were recruited. Complete data sets were obtained for 44 participants. A quantitative randomised control trial design was followed. The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Sixth Edition (Beery VMI-6), determined participants’ VMI, VP and MC during the pre- and post-tests. The KaziKidz toolkit was used as intervention during 10 sessions of 40 min each for the experimental group, while the control group continued with the South African PE curriculum. The Fisher’s exact and Kruskal–Wallis tests were used for pre- and post-test comparisons, with p < 0.05 indicating statistical significance.

Results: The median age of the control (n = 18) and intervention (n = 26) groups was 6.7 and 6.5 years, respectively. Post intervention, the intervention group displayed significantly improved VMI (p = 0.042) and VP (p < 0.001), compared to the control group. No significant differences between the groups were observed for MC.

Conclusion: Exposure to PE including perceptual motor aspects significantly improved the VMI and VP of 6-year-old children.

Contribution: Results deemed the KaziKidz toolkit to be a successful mode of PE delivery to improve the perceptual skills of Grade 1 learners in South Africa.


Keywords

children; motor coordination; perceptual motor; motor skills; physical activity; intervention

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