Fundamental movement skills are a specific set of skills that involve different parts of the body, including feet, legs, torso, head, arms and hands. They are the building blocks for more complex and specialised physicality that children will need throughout their lives to competently participate in different games, sports and recreational activities.
They can be split into four different categories:
Fundamental movement skills need to be taught and practised in everyday life. By encouraging these movements at a young age during play – at home, in the garden, in the park or the pool, we are supporting children to take part in sport and progressing their general development and their overall health and wellbeing. Children will usually start to learn these from an early age and continue to develop them through primary school.
The fundamental movement skills may seem separate from what we teach in the swimming pool. For example, jumping has several important uses if developed at an early age on land, but why do you need to be able to jump for swimming? Children will be able to apply this to jumping into the water, picking a sinker off the bottom of the pool, push and glides from the pool edge and, as they develop swim skills, also diving and tumble turns.
Swimming requires a range of core aquatic skills, which underpin all aspects of swimming and are the stepping stones to the complex skills and strokes. If we don’t have a good base and understanding of our fundamental movement skills, we won’t be able to master the core aquatic skills and therefore the strokes and complex skills will take much longer to learn.
It’s more important than ever to find opportunities for physical activity during lockdown. This will help your children and learners return to ‘normal life’ fit, healthy and engaged with learning.
Here are some examples of what can be done at home and in the garden:
- Hopping from paving stone to paving stone, standing on one leg for five seconds before moving to the next stone (agility and balance)
- A few rounds of catching and passing a ball from different angles (catching and passing)
- Running loops around the garden or in different patterns (running and agility). You could also add some short sprints in as they progress (speed)
- Throwing a bean bag or ball into a bucket or hoop from different distances (throwing). As they progress, see if they can do this with one eye closed or standing on one leg (balance)
- Kicking a ball in and out of a slalom course (kicking)
- Get creative with everyday objects around the home to set up an obstacle course, including over, under, around and through (agility balance and coordination)
Jumping into a paddling pool! A skipping rope competition! Longest handstand or the furthest standing jump!
Win a free place on one of our upcoming SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning courses.
To enter all you need to do is capture your activities or ideas and share them with us on Facebook (@InstituteofSwimming), Instagram (@instituteofswimming) or Twitter (@InstituteofSwim) tagging our social channels and using the hashtag #FunMovementSkills to inspire others.