Children not ready for school by 5, claims expert

Preschoolers are not developing the behavioural and motor skills they need to start school at age 5, says expert

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Thousands of children are not ready to go to school at the age of 5, according to Sally Goddard Blythe, a child development expert. Sally claims that the reliance on electronic learning toys and television has led to a lack of natural development that children need to do well at school.

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“It’s alarming the proportion of children with immature motor skills when they start school, regardless of intelligence,” Sally explains in her new book The Genius of Natural Childhood. “A significant percentage of children have problems they don’t need to have. They seem to have missed out on early stages of development.”

Simple games such as  Pat-a-cake and “rough and tumble” play are essential for children to learn life skills. But many parents rely on modern technology-driven toys that are touted as encouraging development.

Sally encourages parents to be more hands-on with their children, boosting their communication skills and helping them develop motor skills with active games.

“If they have immature motor skills, it will affect their ability to sit still, pay attention, chance themselves, hold a pencil and even grip a knife and fork properly,” Sally added.

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