"All this conversation is going on about cognitive development, but we've forgotten the child's body... The amount of physical activity since the turn of the century has declined seventy-five percent; children are not playing, and through play a great deal of active learning takes place. Children used to play in natural ways, with kids of different ages, outside, basically unsupervised by adults. Visual and auditory attention, bodily coordination--all were gained through that kind of play. This physical learning must take place before children start dealing with abstractions; it doesn't happen if children don't have those experiences."
- Phyllis Weikart, 1987, 'Round the Circle: Key Experiences in Movement for Children'
"The ability to perform gross motor skills is related directly to physical fitness. A competent mover will gladly keep moving; he or she will engage in such activities as dancing, jumping rope, and hanging and swinging on the playground equipment. A child who feels physically awkward and uncoordinated is going to avoid movement. Such a child isn't likely to take part in an after-school game of tag or hopscotch or to climb the monkey bars during recess. Since poor movement habits tend to remain from childhood into adulthood, a physically inactive child is likely to grow up to be an inactive adult. Considering the health risks for the unfit - obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other risks - teaching children motor skills is indeed just as important as teaching language skills...The most important thing you can do is to give children the time, space, and opportunity to move."
- Rae Pica, 2008, "Learning by Leaps and Bounds: Why Motor Skills Matter," Beyond the Journal, Young Children on the Web