Physical development

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.

Physical development: Take a swing

Hitting a ball with a stick is fun. Add in a target and it becomes a challenge. Use the correct terminology and it becomes a new hobby. Let children experiment with golf equipment and develop their own swing style, says Jenni Clarke.

Let's all wash our hands

As the autumn and winter months bring more opportunities for cold and flu bugs to spread now is the time to be extra vigilant about handwashing in your setting. Try these activities linked to the EYFS which will educate children about the importance of regular handwashing and give them the physical skills to carry it out effectively.

Exterminate the germs

At its most fundamental level, mastering hygiene and self-care practices involves children working on physical development skills. Jenni Clarke suggests activities that will build their confidence.

Physical Development: Bowled over

The official rules of rounders can be simplified for young children, enabling them to learn the basics of the sport, be active, concentrate on developing their skills and, most of all, have fun with their friends.

Physical development: A smashing game

Badminton is a great way to introduce racket sports to young children, helping them to practise the hand-eye coordination that will come in useful for different games as they develop their sporting prowess.

Parent: Weighing up dummies

Parents should give careful thought about whether to introduce a young child to a dummy and they also need to think about how their child will be weaned off it at a later time, says Annette Rawstrone.

Tune in to children's natural curiosities

In the part two of her series exploring high quality provision for babies and children, Yasmin Mukadam looks at the importance of them being actively involved in planning their own learning experiences.

Catch a star in your net

Nets are a cheap, readily available, versatile resource. Use them to make dens, catch carboard stars and all sorts of other objects. Talk about how they keep us safe and have fun crawling beneath them.

‘Let's get gardening’

National Gardening Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase to the local community what you do in your setting to grow and use produce, and to encourage a healthy and productive outdoor experience.

Everything under the sun

Make the most of the warm and sunny days of summer to introduce the topic of holidays and travel, and organise a variety of outdoor activities, including water and sand play, picnics, sports and trips.

Physical development: All dressed up

Mastering the skill of dressing involves fine motor skills, body awareness and co-ordination. These games deliver the fun factor and the impetus for children to become independent.

Glorious mud!

Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.

Physical development: Full speed ahead

Extending conversation around exercise is a great way to help children to make connections with how their body works. It also helps them to focus on setting their own physical challenges.

Parent: Once bitten...

Children aged between 18 months and three years can sometimes go through a phase of biting others. A careful approach is needed to address this, taking into account underlying, developmental factors.

Physical development: Imaginative leaps

Physical development and imaginative play go naturally together and there are lots of ways you can resource the environment to ensure that children can be active within their own creative worlds.

Physical development: Against the grain

Revisit your sand trays with these new ideas to promote concentration, hand-to-eye co-ordination and ne motor skills. Children can also get to grips with how tools can effect changes to materials.

Physical development: Against the grain

Revisit your sand trays with these new ideas to promote concentration, hand-to-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Children can also get to grips with how tools can effect changes to materials.

Physical development: Stepping outside

In this new series on making the most of your outdoor space, Karen Hart suggests foraging for materials to make a woodland sensory play area, building a bug box and making a fun assault course.

Get ready for a fresh start in January

It may come as a shock having to match your energy levels to the children’s when they arrive back after the Christmas break – so lay plans to get them outside and letting off steam, while supporting their learning and physical development.

Wrap up!

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

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