Francesca Latino, Francesco Tafuri


Childhood is a period of children development characterized by rapid process of maturation of the brain and the central nervous system. Motor development is the result of changes caused by physical growth, cognitive development, and the ability to interact with the environment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the expansive and ever-growing literature about the impact of play activities interventions on cognitive function and motor skills development, and to analyze in which way school physical education is able to promote early learning experiences. Findings taken from the present literature research establish that play can improved motor skills of children and school appear to be the privileged place to promote these activities.


academic achievement; special pedagogy; educationa process

Full Text:



Berghänel, A., Schülke, O., & Ostner, J. (2015). Locomotor play drives motor skill acquisition at the expense of growth: A life history trade-off. Science advances, 1(7), e1500451.

Borhani, D. N., Parvinpour, S., & Rafiee, S. (2022). Effect of Solitary and Group Purposeful Movement Plays on Various Aspects of Theory of Mind in Girls Aged 8 years.

Buszard, T., Reid, M., Masters, R., & Farrow, D. (2016). Scaling the equipment and play area in children’s sport to improve motor skill acquisition: A systematic review. Sports medicine, 46, 829-843.

Colella, D. (2016). Stili di insegnamento, apprendimento motorio e processo educativo. Formazione & insegnamento, 14(1 Suppl.), 25-34.

Cornejo, R., Martínez, F., Álvarez, V. C., Barraza, C., Cibrian, F. L., Martínez-García, A. I., & Tentori, M. (2021). Serious games for basic learning mechanisms: reinforcing Mexican children’s gross motor skills and attention. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 25, 375-390.

Eberle, S. G. (2014). The elements of play: Toward a philosophy and a definition of play. American journal of play, 6(2), 214-233.

Flores, F. S., Rodrigues, L. P., Copetti, F., Lopes, F., & Cordovil, R. (2019). Affordances for motor skill development in home, school, and sport environments: A narrative review. Perceptual and motor skills, 126(3), 366-388.

Foulkes, J. D., Knowles, Z., Fairclough, S. J., Stratton, G., O’dwyer, M., Ridgers, N. D., & Foweather, L. (2017). Effect of a 6-week active play intervention on fundamental movement skill competence of preschool children: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Perceptual and motor skills, 124(2), 393-412.

Garvey, C. (1990). Play. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 198, ISBN 978-0-67-467365-6.

Gray, P. (2013). Free to learn: Why unleashing the instinct to play will make our children happier, more self-reliant, and better prepared for life. New York: Basic Books.

Huizinga, J. (1955). Homo Ludens: A study of the play-element in culture. Boston: Beacon Press.

Isaacs, S. (2006). The educational value of the nursery school. Early Years Education: Major Themes in Education, 1, 134.

Kennedy-Behr, A., Rodger, S., & Mickan, S. (2013). A comparison of the play skills of preschool children with and without developmental coordination disorder. OTJR: Occupation, participation and Health, 33(4), 198-208.

Libertus, K., & Hauf, P. (2017). Motor skills and their foundational role for perceptual, social, and cognitive development. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 301.

Lim, C., Donovan, A. M., Harper, N. J., & Naylor, P. J. (2017). Nature elements and fundamental motor skill development opportunities at five elementary school districts in British Columbia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(10), 1279.

Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., & Altman, D.G. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. J. Clin. Epidemiol., 62, 1006–1012

Ni Kadek, K. (2018). Wacana “Ajeg Bali” Pada Seni Kerajinan Sarana Upacara Di Gianyar Bali. Mudra Jurnal Seni Budaya, 33(01), 26-34.

Palma, M. S., Pereira, B. O., & Valentini, N. C. (2014). Guided play and free play in an enriched environment: Impact on motor development. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 20, 177-185.

Pesce, C., Masci, I., Marchetti, R., Vazou, S., Sääkslahti, A., & Tomporowski, P. D. (2016). Deliberate play and preparation jointly benefit motor and cognitive development: mediated and moderated effects. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 349.

Rahmanto, I. N., Suwastika, N. A., & Yasirandi, R. (2020). How Can IoT Applicable to Practice Gross Motor Skill Through Hopscotch Game? Jurnal RESTI (Rekayasa Sistem Dan Teknologi Informasi), 4(3), 584-590.

Rubin, K. H., Fein, G. G., & Vandenberg, B. (1983). Play. In P. H. Mussen & E. M. Hetherington (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 4, 693-774. New York: Wiley.

Suherman, W. S., Dapan, G., & Muktiani, N. R. (2019). Development of traditional children play based instructional model to optimize development of kindergarteners’ fundamental motor skill. Cakrawala Pendidikan, 38(2), 356-365.

Sutapa, P., Pratama, K. W., Rosly, M. M., Ali, S. K. S., & Karakauki, M. (2021). Improving motor skills in early childhood through goal-oriented play activity. Children, 8(11), 994.

Sutton-Smith, B. (1997). The Ambiguity of Play. Cambridge, Mass.:Harvard University Press.

Tsuda, E., Goodway, J. D., Famelia, R., & Brian, A. (2020). Relationship between fundamental motor skill competence, perceived physical competence and free-play physical activity in children. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 91(1), 55-63.

Valentini, N. C., Pierosan, L., Rudisill, M. E., & Hastie, P. A. (2017). Mastery and exercise play interventions: motor skill development and verbal recall of children with and without disabilities. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22(4), 349-363.

Virkkala, M. (2022). To play or not to play: the relationship between motor skills, pretend play and play participation.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). The role of play in development. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes, 92-104. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Italian Journal of Health Education, Sports and Inclusive Didactics 
ISSN: 2532-3296