- Professor Jan Piek, Associate Professor Clare Roberts, Associate Professor Rosanna Rooney, Professor Leon Straker, Dr Lyn Jensen, Professor Tanya Packer, Dr Alma Dender and Sue McLaren.
- Who is this for?
- Who is this from?
- Early childhood educators and staff
- Mentally Healthy Communities
- Early Learning
- Social and emotional learning
- The program aims to improve the gross and fine motor skills of young children and to enhance young children's social and emotional development.
A program package, containing a manual, flashcards and home book cost $250
Materials can also be purchased individually: Manual $120, Flash Cards $120, Animal Fun@Home workbook $10
A new online version of the manual is now available and is priced at $100.
Postage is free within Australia.
- Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania
- Sue McLaren/Curtin University
- 7 St Helena Way Iluka WA 6028
- Mobile number
- 0409 942 182
Animal Fun is a universal, health promotion, prevention and early intervention program designed to improve the motor skills and social and emotional skills of children aged 3-6 years. Animal Fun has 9 modules:
Module 1- Body management
Module 2- Locomotion
Module 3- Object control
Module 4- Body sequencing, trunks and limbs
Module 5- Body management
Module 6- Fine motor planning
Module 7- Object control
Module 8- Hand skills
Module 9- Social/emotional development
Program structure & method delivery
Program was designed to be implemented flexibly by educators. It can be run over a term as 4 x 30 minute sessions per week, or on a less structured basis. For example, educators have reported using Animal Fun activities successfully to transition between experiences and events.
Methods of Delivery
Movement activities, Art activities, Relaxation techniques, Group activities, Singing and games, A home book with activities from each module that families can do together at home .
Student assessment measuresNo
Professional learning compulsoryNo
Notes are included at the beginning of each module. Crative ideas are included at the conclusion of each module
Identified theoretical frameworkDraws on a task specific approach (Revie and Larkin, 1993) and a social skill deficit model (Lewinsohn, 1974).
ReferencesPiek, Jan P., Kane, Robert., Rigoli, Daniela., McLaren, Sue., Roberts, Clare M., Rooney, Rosanna., Jensen, Lynn., Dender, Alma., Packer, Tanya., Straker, Leon. Does the Animal Fun program improve social-emotional and behavioural outcomes in children aged 4-6 years? Human Movement Science, 2015, (43): 155-163. Piek JP, McLaren S, Kane R, Jensen L, Dender A, Roberts C, Rooney R, Packer T, Straker L Does the Animal Fun program improve motor performance in children aged 4-6 years? Hum Mov Sci. 2013;32(5):1086-1096. Piek, J.P., Straker, L. M., Jensen, L., Dender, A., Barrett, N.P., McLaren, S., Roberts, C., Reid, C., Rooney, R., Packer, T., Bradbury, G., Elsley, S. (2010). Rationale, design and methods for a randomised and controlled trial to evaluate "Animal Fun" - a program designed to enhance physical and mental health in young children. BMC Pediatrics 2010, 10:78
Author(s)Professor Jan Piek, Associate Professor Clare Roberts, Associate Professor Rosanna Rooney, Professor Leon Straker, Dr Lyn Jensen, Professor Tanya Packer, Dr Alma Dender and Sue McLaren.
Jan Piek is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. Over the last 20 years, Jan and her team have researched extensively in the area of motor development and disability, specialising in infant motor development and the impact of preterm birth on motor ability.
Clare Roberts is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. Her interests include clinical child psychology, mental health promotion, and the prevention of anxiety and depression.
Rosanna Rooney is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. Her research interests include depression, postnatal depression across cultures, mental health across cultures, and anxiety and depression in children and couples.
Leon Straker is a Professor of Physiotherapy at Curtin University. His past clinical experience includes working as a paediatric physiotherapist in a tertiary hospital and health promotion work with school children.
Lyn Jensen is a physiotherapist with more than 25 years experience working with children with typical development and those with a range of developmental disabilities.
Tanya Packer is a Professor and Director of the School of Occupational Therapy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia in Canada. Tanya’s research interests include disability, rehabilitation, and self-management.
Alma Dender is a senior lecturer in the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work. Her research interests include play assessment and intervention in occupational theory and practice, culturally appropriate play assessment, Indigenous health and occupational performance, international fieldwork experiences, and play and links to neuroscience.
Sue McLaren is the Research and Project Coordinator for Animal Fun. Sue has a social science background and wide experience of working with children and families; especially children with disabilities.
Share this guide
Share this guide with someone!