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Why Do Children Need Opportunities to Use New Motor Skills They Learn?


During therapy sessions, we frequently break down activities into smaller parts or chunks to make it easier for children to learn new motor or life skills.  As the child progresses with those individual parts of the skill, the child then practices the entire activity as a whole. Sometimes this is done in an isolated environment (ie therapy room) and sometimes in the real environment (ie classroom).

Keep in mind, in order for the child to learn and retain the skill, the child must apply that skill in meaningful and functional activities.  This helps to lay the neural networks to achieve and retain the skill.

After the child completes the skill provide formal and informal feedback to help them improve. Use self assessment techniques allowing the child to determine what needs improvements.   This will again help lay the groundwork for strong neural networks for the skill.

So why do children need meaningful opportunities to practice new motor or life skills?  It creates strong neural networks in order to transfer the skill in different situations or to learn additional new skills.