Kids Active: Evaluation of an Educator-Led Active Play and Fundamental Movement Skill Intervention in the Irish Preschool Setting

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Dublin City University
  • 2 University College Cork
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The Kids Active program was developed with the aim of increasing physical activity (PA) and fundamental movement skill (FMS) levels of children in preschool services in Ireland through training educators to encourage active play opportunities. In this study, the impact of a six-week pilot program on educator confidence, as well as children’s PA levels and FMS proficiency, is evaluated. Educators’ (n = 32) confidence to teach PA was measured through questionnaire, while data (anthropometric data, PA via accelerometry, and proficiency in four FMS; run, vertical jump, overhand throw, and catch) were collected from 141 children in five intervention and four control services. Educators in the intervention group achieved significantly higher confidence scores at post-intervention testing in comparison to the control group. No significant differences between control and intervention groups were found for children’s PA across the three-hour period. Children in the intervention group significantly increased scores in the overhand throw. Small positive changes in educator confidence to teach PA and in children’s performance of the skill of overhand throw indicate potential effects of the Kids Active intervention that warrant further investigation of efficacy over longer periods of time.

Duff, Issartel, and Belton are with the School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. O’ Brien is with the School of Education, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Duff (Christina.duff4@mail.dcu.ie) is corresponding author.
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