GTMS Life > Blog April 28, 2022

Movement- Object Control Skills

Hi all, If you have been reading along these past few months, you know that I have been updating the movement classroom blog with a more in depth focus of each component of the movement curriculum each month. This month, we will be taking a deep dive into Object Control Skills. These key terms of […]

Hi all,

If you have been reading along these past few months, you know that I have been updating the movement classroom blog with a more in depth focus of each component of the movement curriculum each month. This month, we will be taking a deep dive into Object Control Skills.

These key terms of the curriculum all stem from an incredible resource for movement programs both in and outside of the Montessori classroom, “Movement Matters: A Movement Album for Montessori Early Childhood Programs” by Diane H. Craft and Melani Alexander Fuchs. I have utilized the fundamentals described in the book, paired with my formal education in dance, gymnastics, creative movement, and yoga to create a program that coincides with a Montessori style approach to pedagogy.

If your child is in a Primary classroom, you may recall the section on these skills that was included on their movement conference forms. Or you may remember it from one of the very first movement blogs. For those who do not, here is the refresher:

Object Control Skills: Skills representative of a child’s ability to hold, catch, throw, and manipulate an object such as a ball, scarves, hoops, and bean bags.

Young children are continuously developing the hand-eye coordination needed to practice their object control skills. They often track moving objects with their eyes as they are forming these abilities.

For toddlers, we will often practice developing these skills by utilizing scarves as they move more slowly and are easier for the children’s eyes to track. We repeat “throw……and catch” with the simultaneous action over and over. We then often practice catching the scarves with different body parts.

We even sometimes place scarves and balls on the parachute, bouncing them up and down really quickly to give the children an opportunity to practice tracking those objects with their eyes.

In primary, these skills are interspersed into games and activities rather than through creative movement play. Most often, the children must stand on a dot and kick, throw, or roll a ball through different foam shapes of varying sizes. Some are trickier than others. Once they are demonstrating more and more consistency with their aim, I invite them to move the dot they are standing on further away, and face the target at different angles for added challenge.

We practice these skills with bean bags in a similar manner, and during group sports, i.e. basketball, scooter-ball, soccer, etc.

Balloons are another great tool for developing this skill set as they too move slowly making them easier to track. A simple game of “keep the balloon in the air” is a tool I often utilize to encourage the development of this skill while fostering an ability of the children to work collectively as a team.

The development of these skills not only sets them up for an ease of playing recreational sports when they are older, but also helps strengthen their stability and balance, increase confidence, and encourages supporting their peers during group activities.

Stay tuned next month as we take a deeper dive into Stability!

Ms. Jena

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