There is also evidence that connections between motor experiences and cognitive development may exist beyond infancy but are limited to specific domains of cognition. Specifically, two studies in this Research Topic provide evidence for a relation between motor development and mathematics in Kindergarten and primary school aged children. First, Frick and Möhring report that children’s ability to balance on one leg at age 6 years predicts their proportional reasoning skills assessed 1 year later. And second, Pitchford et al. report that fine motor skills (i.e., Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration) were a significant predictor of math abilities in 4- to 6-year-old primary school students. These studies suggest that motor skills can be predictive of cognitive skills beyond infancy—at least in the domain of mathematical cognition. Together, the studies reported in this collection suggest an interesting shift in the relation between motor skills and other developmental domains over time. Specifically, motor skills seem highly related to other developmental domains during the first 3 years of life, but this relation seems to weaken or disappear as children grow older—with the one notable exception being a positive relation between motor and math skills that persists until at least age 6.
Effects of Physical Activity on Motor Skills and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: A Systematic Review
Of the five studies investigating the influence of physical activity on cognitive development, four (80%) showed significant and positive changes in language