PERCEPTUAL MOTOR PROGRAM-PMP The greater the store of “my world” experiences, the better developed are the perceptions and the greater the store of appropriate, automatic motor reactions, the more likely the mind will be free to consider other things. It makes learning easier in the school situation. A Perceptual Motor Program aims to give the child experiences in seeing, hearing, touching, processing, making perceptual judgements and reacting though carefully sequenced activities which children enjoy doing like running, hopping, skipping, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, throwing, catching, bowling, sliding, etc., using a variety of common and specially designed equipment. The child needs the motor skills of balance, locomotion and eye / hand / foot co-ordination and needs to be fit to function effectively. Children with common behaviour problems of inattention, “day dreaming”, wandering, laziness, clumsiness, disruptive behaviour, among other things, are frequently children who have not developed a “perceptual world”. These are the children who become frustrated with school and optimal learning is not achieved. The perceptions the child needs can be grouped as: (a) perception of self (body image, body control, laterality) if problems of reversals, sidedness, etc. are to be avoided in the classroom. (b) a perception of space, if problems with handwriting, poor use of time and inappropriate movement patterns are to be avoided. (c) a perception of time (body rhythm) if the child is to be able to remember things rhythmically and move efficiently and effectively in his / her world. An effective Perceptual Motor Program has children work through a sequence of experiences to develop perception and motor outcomes along with memory training. Confidence grows, problems are solved, language skills develop and the fundamental sports skills are learned which will enable the child to move competently into the major games and activities. It also develops good social skills and self-esteem. Children become self-assured people, aware they have a place in the world, and aware of the contributions they can make to that world. It is important that correct technique is demonstrated and encouraged to ensure aims and objectives of that specific activity are met and that the children are safe. Children will rush to complete techniques. They will need to be reminded to slow down as they will have more control when they complete techniques slowly. Children need to be using correct techniques and reacting and responding in the appropriate ways. Praise and continued encouragement is required to help children understand they are on the right track and to help them learn the language involved with PMP. For Example; “Well done for jumping from side to side. I like how your feet are close together.” or “Lovely safe landing with your knees bent.” Each week Prep students are assigned to small working groups and move through four or five activities at five minute intervals. Parents and class teachers give instructions and supervise each activity. One of these activities is Eye Tracking which is competed each week to help develop eye muscle control. Children are not always engaging in activities that develop eye fitness and control. Some children can find it difficult keeping track of the line when they are reading, and may not be able to direct their eyes to the word they want. This results in opting out of visual activities in the class room because the activity seems too stressful. These eye exercises can help to develop eye muscle, control and tracking ability. As the children develop some muscle and control in their eyes, visual tasks in the classroom seem easier to overcome as they lose the ‘blocking’ stress (which involved visual stimulation; tracking) they previously had and can concentrate on the ‘real’ task at hand. PMP helps develop confidence, listening skills, memory span, problem solving, coordination and physical ability.