The research

The KIDDO program has been proven to be effective for both developing skills and improving the confidence of participating children over an 8 week period. These were the findings from a randomised, controlled study conducted in 2017 and presented at the International Physical Literacy Association conference in Canada. 

This research assesses the effectiveness of the KIDDO program in improving fundamental movement skill proficiency and self-perception in 5–6-year-old children across four schools in Perth, Western Australia that had not previously participated in the KIDDO program. The study included 106 students, with schools randomly allocated as control schools or intervention schools. The two intervention schools implemented a 45 minute KIDDO session each week for 8 weeks, focusing on the skills of overarm-throwing and running, while also maintaining their usual Physical Education  (PE) program. The two control schools continued with their usual PE programming.

All students from the intervention and control schools were evaluated using the Test of Gross Motor Development (version 2) and the Pictorial Scale for Perceived Motor Competence before and after the intervention period. 

Key findings

The results indicated a statistically significant improvement in the skills focused on throughout the program, with a 61% improvement in overarm throwing proficiency and a 12% improvement in running, improvement was also seen in children’s overall movement proficiency. The average participating student who could throw three metres at the start of the program could throw 4.8 metres after eight weeks.

The evaluation also revealed a statistically significant improvement in self-perception of movement competence for the intervention group, this is an indication of a child’s self-confidence in being active.  This relationship between movement self-perception, confidence and the willingness to practice and develop fundamental movement skills is vital in ensuring children have a lifelong engagement with physical activity. Children who are more confident about their movement skills are more likely to practice and participate in games and sports with their peers, allowing them to develop the skills to mastery level and apply them in a more sport specific context. 

What does this mean?

These significant improvements in children’s FMS development is observed after instructors i.e. the teachers, early childhood educators and coaches receive the appropriate training and resources to deliver the KIDDO program.

This study provides a strong evidence base for the effectiveness of the KIDDO program in a school setting and its ability to positively influence physical literacy and fundamental movement skill development among Australian children in the future.

Hourigan, A., Derbyshire, A., Thornton, A., Rosenberg, M. (2017) Evaluation of a structured fundamental movement skill intervention program in pre-primary school aged children [Conference presentation]. International Physical Literacy 2017 Conference, Toronto, Canada.