KIDDO was created from and continues to evolve in line with the latest research.
It draws from studies conducted by the team at UWA as well as other expert researchers from Australia and around the world.
teacher participating striking game
Teachers' proven to benefit from KIDDO's Professional Development

Research published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise Journal found that Primary School teachers who completed KIDDO's Certificate of Physical Literacy:

  • Had significantly higher physical literacy knowledge and application 
  • Were more confident to deliver physical literacy, valued physical literacy more and faced fewer barriers to delivering physical literacy programs

See research summary

Professional Development for Primary School Teachers

children jumping
KIDDO online training boosts delivery of Physical Literacy in ECEC

This ground-breaking study concluded that Early Childhood Educators who completed KIDDO's Certificate of Physical Literacy for Early Childhood Educators:

  • Scored higher in physical literacy knowledge and the application of physical literacy in their programs 
  • Reported higher levels of confidence in delivering physical activity
  • Experienced fewer perceived personal barriers to physical activity

See research summary

Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators

girls playing
KIDDO develops the skills and confidence to be active

Children who participated in an KIDDOs Fundamental Movement Skill (FMS) program over 8 weeks demonstrated:

  • Significantly better FMS development
  • More confidence to be physically active

See research summary

Research that's informed KIDDO
Here's just a small sample of it
Child catching a ball
Poor gross motor skill competency among children is a growing concern

Gross motor skill development is vital for health and development in the early years. In research by Veldman and colleagues from Early Start at The University of Wollongong, they found that:

  • 13% of children were not on track developmentally for gross motor skills.
  • Children in low-income communities, particularly boys, and underweight and overweight children have a higher chance of being at risk of gross motor delay.

See research summary

soccer goalie
Significant long-term outcomes from early FMS development

Lubans and colleagues conducted research providing an overview of the evidence supporting the significance of fundamental movement skill (FMS) development during childhood. It highlights how FMS development influences physical activity levels from childhood to adolescence, contributes to health-related fitness, and helps reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Lubans, D. R., Morgan, P. J., Cliff, D. P., Barnett, L. M., & Okely, A. D. (2010). Fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents: review of associated health benefits. Sports medicine, 40, 1019-1035.

child smiling
Developmentally appropriate Fundamental Movement Skill programs work!

School-based and community-based programs that include developmentally appropriate FMS learning experiences delivered by physical education specialists or highly trained classroom teachers significantly improve FMS proficiency in youth.

That's why we created KIDDO for Primary Schools and KIDDO for Early Learning Services!

Morgan PJ, Barnett LM, Cliff DP, et al. Fundamental movement skill interventions in youth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2013:peds. 2013-1167.

special needs boy running
Confidence is key!

In this foundational study, Barnett and colleagues found that developing a child's confidence or self-perception of their physical activity competence is an important factor in determining both childhood and adolescent physical activity participation and fitness. 

Learn more about Physical Literacy

Barnett, L. M., Morgan, P. J., van Beurden, E., & Beard, J. R. (2008). Perceived sports competence mediates the relationship between childhood motor skill proficiency and adolescent physical activity and fitness: a longitudinal assessment. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 5(1), 1-12.

Kindy kid with hoola hoop
3 hours+ physical activity is recommended per day for 1-5 year olds.

The Australian 24 hour movement guidelines for the early years recommend that children aged from 1- 5 years should spend at least 3 hours in a variety of physical activities, including energetic play (with at least 60 minutes for pre-schoolers), spread throughout the day – more is better. If you're a KIDDO member, you can download our 24 hour movement guidelines poster > 

Download Primary School ages version

Download ECEC ages version

National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep Recommendations for Children (Birth to 5 years), Australian Government Department of Health (2017)

Only 1 in 8 children in ECEC Services are getting the recommended level of physical activity

Research from the PLAYCE study of 1596 children in 104 ECEC services found that less than 12% of children aged 2-5 years met the recommended three hours of physical activity per day whilst attending their ECEC service.

Download ECEC active movement guidelines

Download the full report


teacher brain break
Incorporate 5-10 minute bursts of physical activity into the classroom every day

Research found that:

  • Childrens executive function improved across all related assessments following the physical activity breaks
  • They also reported more positive mood states, higher motivation and higher self-efficacy following the physical activity.

That's why we've created programs featuring "Morning Fitness" and "Brain Break" activities suitable for the classroom.

See research summary

teacher brain break
Active breaks in the classroom improve children's brain functioning and impulse control

Cognitively engaging active breaks can improve brain efficiency in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the neural substrate of executive functions, as well as response inhibition, via effects partially mediated by the change in sitting/stepping time. Active breaks can reduce sitting, increase standing/stepping, and improve on-task behaviour.

All of KIDDO's ready-made, curriculum-aligned programs and lesson plans feature morning fitness and brain breaks. 


Mazzoli, E., Salmon, J., Teo, W. P., Pesce, C., He, J., Ben-Soussan, T. D., & Barnett, L. M. (2021). Breaking up classroom sitting time with cognitively engaging physical activity: Behavioural and brain responses. Plos one, 16(7), e0253733.

Running assessment
A valid and reliable tool for FMS assessment

The KIDDO FMS assessment is based on the four item, Stay-in-Step assessment, a valid and reliable tool that can be done quickly with large groups. The objective nature of the measures ensures a high level of reliability over time and between assessors. As the assessor does not require an extensive understanding of movement competencies to administer the test, this approach is useful for generalist teachers or professionals without a background in human movement (Hands & Larkin, 1998). 

Over 35,000 students have been assessed using KIDDOs online FMS tool. Try it out and measure, assess, benchmark and report with ease. Check out our guide (and video) on assessing FMS with KIDDO 

Larkin, D., & Revie, G. (1994). Stay in step: A gross motor screening test for children K-2. Hands, B., & Larkin, D. (1998). Australian tests of motor proficiency: What do we have and what do we need? The ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 45(4) Spray, J. A. (1987). Recent developments in measurement and possible applications to the measurement of psychomotor behavior. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 58, 203-209.

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Parent’s understanding and engagement in their child’s physical literacy development

This study reveals parents' attitudes, knowledge and confidence regarding developing the physical literacy of their children. 

It found that:

  • Beliefs about responsibility played a significant role in how they supported physical activity in their children. 
  • Some parents felt responsible for their children's physical literacy, while others didn't see it as their primary responsibility (could be addressed in the school).
  • Parents' beliefs affected how they engaged with efforts to promote physical literacy. 
  • More efforts are needed to ensure parents are informed about effective ways to support their children's physical literacy, given their crucial role in shaping their children's behaviours.

Learn more and view research summary

Coming soon
Research that's currently underway at UWA
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Validation of the KIDDO Fundamental Movement Skill assessment tool

This research provides evidence for the validity of KIDDO’s Fundamental Movement Skill assessment tool as a valid measure with children aged 3-8 years in school settings as compared to the gold-standard tools used in research and clinical settings, the Test of Gross Motor Development- 2 (TGMD).

Same as PDF
Feasibility and effectiveness of implementing the KIDDO physical literacy program in ECECs

This research will identify the barriers and enablers to implementing a physical literacy program in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and provide important information for the successful implementation of physical literacy interventions across the ECEC sector.