Physical development

Physical development is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to develop a child's movement, handling of objects, understanding of their own body and health and levels of self-care. Children do this in range of ways including spacial awareness when moving, co-ordination of small and large movements, how to effectively use tools and equipment, saying when they do or don't need help, how show their feelings, learn that some behaviour is unacceptable and its consequences, how to play co-operatively and form positive relationships with adults and children.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover personal, social and emotional development to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Physical development: We're a team

Playing games helps children to take turns, consider others and to learn the value of relationships. Try these ideas for games which also involve concentration, observation and the ability to follow instructions.

Physical development: Outdoor action

Try these activities in your outside space to give children a sense of playing with friends while testing their physical skills and keeping to rules on safe distancing.

Physical development: On your bike!

Use Bike Week to re-think how you use wheeled vehicles in your setting and make the most of their potential to challenge children's balance, strength and control.

Physical development: Take a walk

The books of Emily Gravett provide a great focus for activities such as walking to the post box to post a letter home, going on a litter pick to clean up the environment or making and operating a finger puppet.

Physical development: Carefully does it!

Through the lens of ‘in the moment planning’ Jenni Clarke outlines scenarios which maximise opportunities for children to challenge themselves physically. It is all about being spontaneous and guided by the child.

Physical development: Do it yourself

Encouraging children to build their own dens and special spaces will help them to extend their physical capabilities, and experiment with ideas and resources. Observe how they persist with trial and error.

Latest Features

EYFS reforms: Identifying opportunities

In the first of a three-part guide, Nicola Watson focuses on the statutory changes to the Prime areas of learning and provides advice on how to positively implement them in your practice.

Get baking!

Prepare for Easter by involving children in some simple baking activities that will also develop their maths and literacy skills.

Things to do on a rainy afternoon

A rainy day in doors doesn’t have to mean a day stuck in front of the TV or computer. There are lots of activities to keep children occupied – and still learning. Painting, baking, and other arts and crafts are just some of the great ways to boost their creativity. Here are some activities that are perfect for wet weather days.

Wash, wash, your hands!

The coronavirus has highlighted the importance of washing our hands to help prevent illness. Here are some activities linked to the EYFS which will inform children about why it is essential to regularly wash their hands, giving them the skills to do this effectively.

Forest school: Working its magic

Maureen Lee describes how a study visit to Denmark has inspired a group of practitioners to take their forest school practice to the next level and use it as a springboard for important research.

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