ECED 2050 Psychomotor Development
Independent Study -- Spring 2007
1. Your first task for this course is to make sure that you have a looseleaf notebook for your journal and assignments.

2. Find a GOOD definition of psychomotor development and copy it down, citing your source.
Answer the following questions:

Do you agree with this definition? Why or why not?
What do you expect that this course will cover?

List some tasks of development that are psychomotor. Please try to come up with at least 10.
When you have your list, and have read the definition provided by someone else, write your own definition of psychomotor development.

3. Write down a list of at least 10 tasks that children in early childhood education perform. Look at each of the 10 tasks and break them down into parts -- by
this I mean, describe in detail what kinds of developmental progress is made by doing this task -- cognitive? Fine motor? Psychological? Social? Gross
motor? Toilet training? Feeding him/herself? Dressing him/herself? Family relationships? self-esteem? (etc.)

4. How many of your 10 tasks do you consider to be part of psychomotor development?

5. Make a list of tasks involving psychomotor development that you are interested in talking about this semester. I will start you on the first one:

Go to this link:

Read the paper. Write a response to the paper in your journal. What, if anything, does attachment have to do with psychomotor development? Is a positive
attachment in a young child an indicator of more smooth psychomotor development? Would a negative attachment hinder positive development both
psychologically and motor-wise?

When you are done reading and writing, email to me a copy of all your responses, 1--5. I will go over them and give you new instructions.

Remember to tell me what you hope to learn in this independent study: or
PART TWO!! (i will put your definitions here . . . wait for it!!)

Sybil's fabulous answer:
Psychomotor development is the progressive acquisition of skills involving both mental and motor activities. –

I agree with this definition because this is what I thought psychomotor development was by only hearing the name. I knew it had to do with comprehensive

1) Passing out napkins/spoons/paper plates for lunch
2) Washing hands
3) Writing with a pencil
4) Staying in a straight line
5) Cutting with scissors
6) Tying shoes
7) Stirring with a spoon
8) Folding a piece of paper in half
9) Putting toys away, where they belong
10) Stacking chairs

Psychomotor Development is acquiring skills that will help someone with mental and physical tasks.

1)      sit quietly in a chair (responsibility)
2)      share toys (family relationships, self esteem)
3)      play outside (gross motor, self esteem)
4)      nap (psychological)
5)      write their name (cognitive, fine motor)
6)      use toilet paper (toilet training, self esteem)
7)      eat with silverware (feed him/herself, fine motor, responsibility)
8)      drink from a regular cup (feed him/herself, fine motor)
9)      listen (cognitive, psychological, family relationships)
10)    be nice to their friends (family relationships, self esteem)

Seven of my 10 tasks involve psychomotor development.   1, 4, and 9 are probably not psychomotor development.

I would like to know what sort of factors hinder the psychomotor development, whether it is a stressful home life or if the child is at daycare all day, every day,
or too much television?  

SYBIL: Look at the risks involved with a child spending too much time in front of the TV. A child who is experiencing life vicariously AS
WELL AS being very sedentary. This could definitely affect a child both psychologically and motorically. I would like you to do some
research into this -- and choose any aspect of it that you would like to develop. Make a presentation to present to your classmates about
your research. This will be your large project for this class. Also do the other assigned question, answer, and etc. parts. OK?

Jennifer's wowie answer:

Definitions of psychomotor development:   noun:   progressive acquisition of skills involving both mental and motor activities - Rhythm

I agree with this definition.  I wasn’t really sure what psychomotor development was, but this makes sense if you break the word down into parts.  I am hoping
to learn what psychomotor development is and how it is important in a child’s development.  And what I can do to help children with psychomotor
development in the classroom.

Brushing teeth (fine motor)
washing their hair (responsibility, self esteem, gross motor)
coloring a color page (fine motor, cognitive, creativity)
drawing a picture (cognitive, fine motor, creativity)
putting on coat (self help skills, gross motor, self esteem)
brushing hair (responsibility, self esteem, gross motor)
pouring a drink (responsibility, self help, gross & fine motor)
using silverware to eat (responsibility, self help, gross & fine motor)
dramatic play (creativity, gross motor, social)
swinging (gross motor, social)

I consider all 10 part of psychomotor because each of these tasks requires a child thinking about the tasks and then performing them.  Often these become a
habit, but when a person suffers a stroke all these things have to be retaught and learned.  These skills are all part of stages a child goes through and them
keeps the skills as they continue to grow and develop.

I would like to know if children at risk suffer from poor psychomotor development.  Also do exceptional children develop their psychomotor skills differently
and what can educators do to help these children develop psychomotor.  

JENNIFER, I would like for you to do some research on the effects of a syndrome or a disability on a child's physical development. I prefer
that you choose a disability that affects a child's cognitive development (i.e., intellectual disability) and how they progress physically --
motorically -- fine motor, gross motor. I would guess that there is a connection, wouldn't you? You have already expressed that you might
think so. Find out what you can, choosing only one disability (i.e., Down syndrome or some other such; I do not mean a disability category)
and make a presentation to present to your psychomotor sisters. This will be your large project for this class. Also do the other assigned
question, answer, and etc. parts. OK?
  p.s., yes an online journal is perfectly OK.

Julie's great answer:

psychomotor - (adj.) Of or relating to movement or muscular activity associated with mental processes. The American Heritage Dictionary

I agree with this definition, because I do not recall I time I have ever used this word to know what it means.

I imagine we will be covering how people use their mind to control their movements.

1. Picking up a rattle and shaking it to make noise. fine
2. Picking up food to put in mouth. fine
3. crawling-gross
4. walking-gross
5. blowing nose-psychological?
6. crying, laughing-psychological
7. talking-psychological, self-esteem, social
8. pushing toys-gross
9. riding a bike-gross
10. putting clothes on-gross

My definition of psychomotor-anything learned throughout life. Anything we have to think about to do, which is pretty much everything except sleeping.
Maybe we don't think about it as much the more we do it, but at some point in life we were taught it.

All tasks are psychomotor if I am understanding the definition correctly.

JULIE: OK, this is what I want you to look at. I agree with you that almost every way that a child develops is psychomotor -- that is, thought
and movement oriented.  You said that everything except sleeping is psychomotor. SO, I want you to research the effect of sleeping on
development. Start right from the beginning of life -- and look at the effects of sleep or the lack of sleep, even dreaming, etc. This is a more
abstract area than the other two (so far) but I still think that this is an undertapped area that has profound importance in a child's
development, both physically and mentally. Make a presentation to present to your psychomotor sisters. This will be your large project for
this class. Also do the other assigned question, answer, and etc. parts. OK?

And NOW, Kyla's wonderful answer:

Psychomotor- of or relating to or characterizing mental events that have motor consequences or vice versa. –

I really wasn't sure of the definition of psychomotor or what I should get from this class, but after reading what the others have said I have an idea of both!

After saying that, yes I agree with this definition because it confirms what has already been stated.

I expect that this course will cover psychomotor development and it’s importance to young children and their development.

Pretend play
Hand washing
Feeding themselves
Using manipulative
Potty training
Cutting paper

My definition would be doing something physical that requires using some thought.

Interact with others (social)
Outside play (gross motor)
Puzzles (fine motor)
Coloring (fine motor)
Using the toilet alone (toilet training)
Pouring from pitcher (Fine motor)
Walking/Jumping (gross motor)
Sharing (social/family relationships)
Writing with pincer grip (fine motor)
Eating with little or no help (feed him/herself)

I would say that eight out of ten are part of psychomotor development.

I would like to talk about ways to ensure that the children in my classroom are practicing skills to help their psychomotor development; and if not ways that
the teachers and parents both can help.

KYLA: All of you made wonderful definitions and brought up different aspects of psychomotor development. In your answer, you said that
you want to know ways to aid a child's psychomotor development in both the classroom and at home. And one of the ways to do this is
with a concept you also mentioned: pretend play. Look deeper at the idea of pretend play (make-believe play; sociodramatic play; whatever
you want to call it); and see if you can find a connection between the development of pretend play and psychomotor development. Both
Piaget and Vygotsky were big proponents of pretend play. Make a presentation to present to your psychomotor sisters. This will be your
large project for this class. Also do the other assigned question, answer, and etc. parts. OK?
Social and Motor Development

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT refers to the growth of the child's ability to make and maintain friends
and to develop mutually supportive relationships with adults and children. It also includes
learning to work and play cooperatively with children and adults. According to a guy named
Mayesky, social development activities "are designed to develop intelligent, responsible,
self-directing individuals who can function as members of groups -- family, community, and the
world -- with which they become identified." Erik Erikson said that it refers to development of the
personality, including one's self-concept. And another guy named Benard said that it refers to
such qualities as "responsiveness, flexibility, empathy, communication skills, and a sense of

A person named FOSTIG said this:
"Movement education can help a child to adjust socially and emotionally because it can provide
him with successful experiences and permit interrelationships with other children in groups and
with a partner. Movement education requires that a child will be aware of others in activities in
which he shares space ... he has to take turns and to cooperate. He thus develops social
awareness and achieves satisfaction through peer relationships and group play."

HOWEVER, preschool children (including infants and toddlers) are EGOCENTRIC. This affects a
child's social development.

Children are talented actors and natural mimics.

Babies who have developed secure relationships with adults in the first two or three months of
life become quite social. They smile in response to smiling adults and are ready to carry on
cooing conversations.

Along toward the end of the first year, however, a baby will develop  stranger  anxiety.

From a toddler's point of view, when playing with toys, "It is mine if I am playing with it, and it is
also mine if I want to play with it."

Confucius said, "What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I know." What does this
mean to you? To me, it means that meaningful experiences happen when a child is involved
sensorally with learning -- the child can touch, taste, smell, as well as see and hear. They
interact; they DO.

FAUTH said that we retain:
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we hear and see at the same time
70% of what we hear, see, and say, and
90% of what we hear, see, say, and DO.

1. Which of the definitions over there do you agree with?
Or do you agree with all of them? Or do you agree with
none of them?


3. How does an infant, who is born completely
egocentric become a toddler who can feel empathy and a
kindergartener who can participate in cooperative play?
In other words, what kinds of things have to happen for
this change to occur?

4. What role does a parent or a caregiver have to play to
support the child in their journey from total egocentrism
to a participating member of society?

5. What things would promote this growth in a classroom
setting? Describe environmental aspects of this
supportive environment.

6. In your work with children, watch the levels of play you
might see. Explain what you have observed.

7.  What can you do about a child who is a loner?

8. What can you do about a child who is a bully?

9. Define attachment.

10. Define Stranger Anxiety.

11. List the stages of play.

12. Make a milestone chart of a child's social
development from birth to age 5. (you can copy one and
attach it to your notebook.)

13. What does all of this have to do with motor

14. Using the percentage theory which Fauth presents,
how can you teach a child about colors and make it a
meaningful and staying learning session? Write out your
Perceptual Motor Development

Williams defines the focus of perceptual-motor development as "the development of the child's capacity to make
sensory and motor decisions and to use feedback to modify and/or eliminate errors from his behavior and from
these decision-making processes."

A good example of a perceptual motor task is learning to catch and throw a ball. This is a very complex task! The
child must receive visual information about such things as the size and distance of the ball and how fast it is
traveling towards him! OR the size of the ball and his ability to lift it high enough to throw. He uses all of this visual
information to make it jive with the past experiences he has had in catching and/or throwing a ball (incidentally,
catching comes MUCH later than throwing ...) After all of THIS, then the kid needs to make the appropriate motor
movements to throw or catch the ball. If the child is successful, then that information will be used to be successful
in the future. If the child is NOT successful, then that situation demands some modification in the entire process to
become successful in the future.

Sensory information (through the senses) is a fantastic teacher for children. The more senses involved in the
learning process, the greater the impression made and the higher the retention percentage.

According to one textbook, motor tasks to develop perceptual motor skills should be divided into the following
categories: locomotion, balance, body and space perception, rhythm and temporal awareness, rebound and
airborne activities, projectile management, management of daily motor activities (including fine muscle tasks), and
tension releases.

Music is a perceptual tool that is most valuable in both developmental learning and in general health. Music has
been found to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Hospitals are using music to
hasten the healing process and supplement the use of anesthesia. Studies show that the body's rhythms -- brain
frequencies, heart rate, and respiration -- also work in greater harmony when tuned to music. Music can alter
moods, restore and help maintain health, energizes, and soothes.

McDonald and Simons (1989) believe that the most important role of music in education may be what it offers the
children aesthetically: "the development of sensitivity for the feelings, impressions, and images that music can

Plato said, "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm
to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful,
of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form."

And Dumbledore said, "Ah! Music! A magic beyond all we do here."

1. Write your personal definition of
perceptual-motor development.

2. Watch children performing any tasks.
Try to break down the task into sensory
and visual (etc.) data like the throwing
and catching ball task in the pink box.

3. Look at the motor skill categories
listed in the fourth paragraph. Can you
understand these categories? Try. And
then make a list of the categories, listing
ONE activity that would fulfill the reason
for that category -- in other words, an
activity that can be done in preschool to
support that kind of motor skill.

4. For this section, I want you to use 3
or 4 different kinds of music at playtime
and note the difference in the children
with each different kind of music.
Choose music that is as far different as
possible, for example, use classical
(violin, soft, dreamy), jazz (upbeat, still
rather soothing), rock n roll, rap, old
time dance music, whatever. Observe
and report.

5. What is your favorite music to listen
to if you would like to cry? How about if
you are HAPPY?
How about sleepy?
NEW PAGE!!!!!!
Go to
this link for the
next few sections, but
only after you read that
pink box DOWN THERE
and respond.
The information in this box is from "Experiences in Movement with Music, Activities, and Theory" by Rae Pica (2nd edition). I want you to just read this and
respond -- you know, what do you think? Do you agree? Not? I think this is interesting stuff. Comments and questions by ME will be in

Consider the following:

**Studies by Coghill (1929), Piaget (1952), Jersild (1954), and Strauss and Kephart (1955)
[pretty long time ago, huh??] suggest because the child's earliest
learning is based on motor development, so too is subsequent knowledge.
[do you think that the age of findings, suggestions, theories, etc. makes them less

**Jaques-Dalcroze (1931) asserted joy is the most powerful mental stimulus. And for children, movement is certainly joyous. [What causes YOU the most joy?
Do you think that what makes you joyful could be what makes children joyful? What things make children joyful, do you believe?]

**After years of observing children, Maria Montessori (1949) determined mental functioning is related to bodily expression.

**Einstein stated he FELT an idea first, through visual and kinesthetic images, before he was able to put it into words.
[Do you more easily believe something if
it is said by someone like Einstein, Montessori, or Piaget rather than Coghill, Jersild, etc?]

**Children think better when their daily routine includes physical activities (Taras, 1992). [Don't you think that this is true for adults too?]

**Body image influences a child's emotional health, learning ability, and intellectual performance. [Do you believe that this is true for ALL ages of children? If
not, when do you think that this becomes important?]

**When children deal with the concepts of space and shape, they are learning to deal with abstract thought.

**Hannaford (1995) states, "We have spent years and resources struggling to teach people to learn, and yet the standardized achievement tests scores go
down and illiteracy rises. Could it be that one of the key elements we've been missing is simply movement?"
[I could respond to this on several levels,
couldn't you? Good. Do it.]