Minds in Motion Project

Minds in Motion is an intervention study that tested the effects of a new after-school visuomotor skills curriculum. Children in the Minds in Motion group participated in up to 28 weeks, 2-4 days per week after school, where they completed a range of arts-and-crafts activities and games that required their attention, self-control, fine motor, and visuomotor (including visuospatial) skills. Members of the FOCAL team developed the curriculum based on research showing that visuomotor and visuospatial skills, together with executive function, are complex cognitive skills and underlie a range of academic skills including mathematics. Copying different designs was a key element of Minds in Motion, and with the help of their instructor, many activities had children copy 2- and 3-dimensional models using colorful, engaging play-based materials. 

Project Status: 2010 - 2013

Funding Source:  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation, Private Gift

Principal Investigators: David Grissmer, Andrew Mashburn, University of Portland

Partners: College of Charleston School of Education, Health, and Human PerformanceWings for KidsPortland State University, Department of Psychology


Cameron, C. E., Chen, W-B., Cottone, E., Blodgett, J., Mashburn, A. J., Brock, L. L., & Grissmer, D. W. (2012). Preliminary validation of the Motor Skills Rating Scale. Psychoeducational Assessment, 30, 555-566.

Kim, H., Murrah, W. H., Cameron, C. E., Brock, L. L., Cottone, E. A., & Grissmer, D. Psychometric properties of the teacher-reported Motor Skills Rating Scale. (In Review).

Mashburn, A., Grissmer, D. W., Cottone, E. A., Brock, L. L., Murrah, W. M., Blodgett, J., & CAMERON, C. E. (2013). The efficacy of Minds in Motion on children's development of executive function, visuo-spatial and math skills. Paper accepted for presentation in W. M. Murrah (Chair), The evolution and evaluation of a play-based, after-school curriculum that improves executive function, visuo-spatial and math skills for disadvantaged children, Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE), Washington, DC, USA, September.