Children Begin Deliberately Practicing Skills at Age 6 When they reach age 6, children start practicing skills without prompting, indicates a new study published in the journal Child Development. Researchers from the University of Queensland tested 120 children age 4–7 on their understanding of practice as a concept and whether they would do it without being told to. ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   January 01, 2018
Children Begin Deliberately Practicing Skills at Age 6
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Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / International & Global / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   January 01, 2018
Children Begin Deliberately Practicing Skills at Age 6
The ASHA Leader, January 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.23012018.16
The ASHA Leader, January 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.23012018.16
When they reach age 6, children start practicing skills without prompting, indicates a new study published in the journal Child Development.
Researchers from the University of Queensland tested 120 children age 4–7 on their understanding of practice as a concept and whether they would do it without being told to.
Researchers took the children to a room with three games involving motor skills and told them they would test them on one of these games (a target game). The children could win stickers based on their success. Next, participants moved to a different room with the same games and had five minutes to practice before testing.

“Our study may help caregivers and teachers structure age-appropriate learning activities for children.”

Most of the 6- and 7-year-olds played the target game longer and could define the term “practice.” This group told researchers that they played the target game longer to prepare for the test.
Most of the 5-year-olds showed an understanding of practice and spent longer with the target game. But they could not quite articulate that practice was the reason for playing the target game. Most of the 4-year-olds neither understood practice nor spent more time playing the target game.
“By providing insight into children’s understanding of practice and the age at which they start to practice for the future with and without prompting, our study may help caregivers and teachers structure age-appropriate learning activities for children,” says study co-author Kana Imuta, psychology researcher at the University of Queensland.
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January 2018
Volume 23, Issue 1