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

Communication and language: Talking it through

This is the final article in the series introducing mindfulness, outlining creative activities which encourage children to express their thoughts and anxieties, collaborate and achieve a sense of calm.

Maths: Thrills and spills

In the first of a series exploring water play, Jenni Clarke suggests how to make the most of opportunities for joyful, spontaneous maths learning, by seizing ‘teachable moments’ and using observation to gauge progress.

Physical development: Write on

Build children's small muscle strength by exploring mark-making with different tools on different surfaces and see where the learning journey leads you.

Physical development: On point

Try the following ideas for making sustainable wood or cork geoboards, and give your children the invaluable experience of creating their own eco-friendly resources using nails or pins, says Hilary White.

Physical development: Spatially aware

Exploring the environment in different ways is key to children developing spatial awareness. Claire Hewson suggests games that will help children to experience the effects of their movements and their proximity to others.

Physical development: From top to toe

Use a picture book such as Head Shoulders Knees and Toes as an invitation for children to have fun testing and exploring their physical capabilities independently, and only get involved in their play when they signal you to do so.

Physical development: Dinosaur stomp

The books of Ian Whybrow combine two of children's favourite things – dinosaurs and the potential for exuberant movement, particularly when they play ‘Dinosaur stomp’.

Latest Features

Focus: Outdoor learning

Audit your space and take a fresh view on how to optimise its potential.

EYFS reforms: Specific areas of learning

This second in a four-part series focuses on the Specific areas of learning, flagging up new points for reflection and providing a practical guide to support every day best practice in your setting.

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.

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