Physical Games as a Means of Developing Children’s Social Skills in Kindergarten

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Abstract

Introduction: The text presents the results of a study conducted in the years 2015 - 2016. The objective of the study was to examine a programme of physical activities aimed at developing children’s social skills. Methods: The research was conducted in a kindergarten. This was a deliberate choice on the basis of availability. The experimental group comprised of 24 children, the control group comprised of 11 children. A 12-lessons programme of physical activities was applied, with a frequency of 1 lesson per week. Entry and exit measurements were taken before the commencement of the programme and after its end, with the help of structured observation, CATO projective tests and interviews with teachers. The data were processed by means of a descriptive statistics level by comparing the average levels. The achieved changes in the level of social skills were subsequently displayed through percentage values. Results: The results indicate that physical activities have a positive effect on the development of children’s social skills. Although the changes are not significant, the experimental group recorded greater changes than the control group in all the evaluated areas; in terms of the overall results, it was actually more than twofold. Discussion: The results cannot be generalized. The results are only valid for our group of children. The reason is the insufficient size of the research sample. Limitations: A significantly limiting factor showed to be the low number of children in the control group. This caused a lack of balance between the two groups in terms of the number of children and their entry level. The length of the intervention program was another limit. Conclusions: Despite the limits of the study, the authors view the results as positive. The reason is the improvement in all the children’s social skills in all the monitored areas, and the more than twofold improvement by the experimental groups compared to the control group.

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