SMALLWALL ACTIVITY CENTRE
Ideal for School and Community Playgrounds
Our Fundamental Movements (FMS) Activity Centre is a new unique MUGA designed to specifically increase children's engagement in physical activity and at the same time help them develop core fms. It has been trialed and evaluated by DCU in conjunction with our local primary school and showed very favourable results for children using the activity centre after only a few sessions. The report can be view under our support page.
The unique design of the activity centre encourages children to interact with its many different features in one area as opposed to practicing and learning fms skills in different settings. It is suitable for use by children of all ages and abilities. It encourages development of fms in young children and it helps enhance and perfect fms in older children who have already acquired some skills. The activity centre can help with development of co-ordination skills. It can be used for structured and unstructured play by an individual child or in a group setting. It facilitates social inclusion and provides an area for users to interact with others in a non competitive and enjoyable way. The activity centre helps children expend energy in a healthy manner which can be a benefit to focus in the school classroom and encourages creativity - children have been seen to devise their own games when engaging in unstructured play.
The activity centre consist of the following features:
- Target Board - ball skills, co-ordination skills
- Ball Wall - locomotor skills and ball skills
- Agility - locomotor skills
- Hurdles - locomotor skills
- High Jump - locomotor and balance skills
- Balance Beam - locomotor/balance
- Basketball Hoop - locomotor and ball skills
What are Fundamental Movement Skills
Fundamental movement skills are skills learnt by children that involve body parts such as feet, legs, trunk, head, arms and hands. They are the foundation movements to the more specialised skills children will need for participation in play, games and sports throughout life. FMS skills are broken down into 3 skills areas
Balance - body remains in place but moves around its vertical and horizontal axes eg balance beam
Locomotor - running, jumping, hopping and galloping
Ball Skills - striking, kicking, catching, throwing and rolling
The most important time frame for children to learn and develop these skills is between the ages of 3 and 8 years.
Why are FMS so important
FMS are important to the physical and mental development of a child. When a child has the opportunity to learn these physical skills, he or she is more likely to be self-motivated to engage competently in physical activity and sports. This increases confidence and enjoyment in physical movement for the child, which can amount to a life long interest in sports and activity. Physical activity is known to play a major part in improving mental health.
In recent years however, a worrying deterioration in childrens ability to perform basic motor skills has been noted. This decline is mainly due to lack of free play (unstructured play) - children in previous years played together without direction, decline in outdoor play, increase in electronic device use, lifestyle changes and overcautious safety measures for playtime.
"Where once children might have kicked a ball or hopped, skipped and jumped, now they are absorbed for hours with smartphones or iPads"
Recent studies show skills once mastered by children at the age of 6 years are now not visible in children aged 13 years and older.
The aim in developing our activity centre is to provide a fun and interactive way for children to increase their physical activity and learn these skills with or without the input of adults.