The Impact of an Outdoor Loose Parts Intervention on Nova Scotian Preschoolers’ Fundamental Movement Skills
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Introduction: Providing opportunities for children to develop fundamental movement skills (FMS) in early years settings is important for encouraging overall health and wellness. Integrating loose parts (e.g. wooden planks, buckets) into outdoor spaces could provide preschoolers with an opportunity to develop FMS as they provide greater affordances for outdoor play. Methods: The Physical Literacy in the Early Years (PLEY) project integrated loose parts into outdoor spaces at licensed childcare centres. Child demographic, anthropometric, and FMS data were measured pre- and post-intervention. Secondary data analyses were used to determine if children exposed to the loose parts intervention had improvements in FMS. Focus group discussions regarding educator’s perceptions were used to determine if educators perceived a change in the children’s FMS. Results: Although quantitative data revealed no change in FMS between groups, analysis of qualitative data revealed three themes of educators’ perceptions of the relationship between loose parts play and preschoolers’ FMS.