The period between the ages of 2 and 7, in which basic movement skills are acquired, is the third stage of motor development in children and is called the period of basic movements. It includes skills that enable to move the body sideways, forward-backward, up-down, forward-backward, by controlling the upper and lower body. Examples of these basic skills are behaviors that require hand-eye, eye-body coordination such as walking, running, squatting, kicking, jumping, jumping, catching, bouncing, throwing, and hitting the ball with the feet. Such skills are seen in all children and are called basic skills because they are used by everyone in performing vital activities.
Motor skills, which are started to be tried in a rough way in the period of basic movements, include gradually developing behaviors and consist of three successive phases.
Fundamental movements first appear purposefully in the initial stage at 2 to 3 years of age. Movements may not occur smoothly and in order. The physical capabilities of the body are beginning to be discovered and tested. Rhythmic harmony is not achieved and the use of the body is exaggerated or inadequate. Among the children of this period, which is the continuation of the period of primitive movements, there may also be children who perform above the behaviors required by the period.
The first stage, which is a transitional period that includes the behaviors observed between the ages of 4 and 5, is the stage in which the behaviors begin to become more controlled and harmonious. Although coordination and rhythm have increased, the exaggeration or inadequacy in the use of the body continues. Children who have shown the necessary development physically or mentally adapt easily to this stage.
Although children’s behaviors observed in this stage, which covers the 5-7 age range, have not yet reached the required maturity compared to an adult, it can be said that they are sufficiently harmonious, controlled and effective movements. Providing the necessary beginning means that skills will improve over time with environmental support and experience. During this period, skills are first acquired in their simplest form and then developed through experience, maturation, and environmental support. In the basic movement period, the aim is to acquire the skills at the highest level.
In addition to physical maturation, environmental and individual factors are also important for children in the basic movement period to acquire sufficient skills. Children who have a place for movement such as playgrounds and sports fields, have a suitable environment for them, have the chance to experience movements and can observe role models doing sports can acquire basic skills faster and better in this period.
All areas of development are in harmony and interaction with each other. The acquisition of basic skills also has an impact on the social and emotional development of the child. For example, it is possible to observe that children who are successful in various sports are self-confident individuals who express themselves well.
A child in the basic movement period can exhibit the characteristics of different phases at the same time. It may have reached maturity in throwing while in the first stage of catching, or it may be in the initial stage in walking and in the first stage in running. This means that there are no clear lines between the phases in the period of basic movements and that the phases are intertwined.