Physical development

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’.

Physical development: Hands on with eco painting

Making your own eco-friendly paint may work out a little more expensive than the ordinary kind but it is a process that children will enjoy and appreciate as something that is precious rather than disposable.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Frame the action

Observing children moving is a wonderful privilege. Visual and audio recordings are two of the most effective mechanisms, which allow for staff collaboration and objectivity.

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.

Join the Big Schools' Birdwatch

The Big Schools’ Birdwatch runs from 6 January – 21 February. It’s an opportunity for children to contribute to the world’s largest wildlife survey, the Big Garden Birdwatch, by spotting and counting birds in the grounds of the setting.

Physical development: Get into the groove

In part two of her series on music, Judith Harries outlines ways to tap into children's innate ability to move to the beat. Encourage them to combine singing and movement, and observe how their confidence and enjoyment grows.

A trip to remember

If pitched at the right level, a trip to a historical or cultural location can be just as valuable in the early years as it is for pupils further up the school, as we found on our trip to Hampton Court Palace, says Elaine Booth, teacher at Latchmere School in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Physical development: Kicking around

Try stopping a young child from kicking a fir cone, stone or ball – it's not easy. There is a natural tendency for children to interact with their environment and the objects in it, so encourage them and support their skills by playing football.

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