Physical development is one of the
prime areas in the Early Years
Foundation Stage. It is important
within physical development that
children have the opportunity to
practice their fine motor skills and
their gross motor skills.
Fine motor activities can include
cutting, threading and pressing.
Gross motor activities can include
rolling, climbing, skipping and
Physical activities should be
encouraged from birth. If a child
cannot walk then they should still be
encouraged to reach and grasp
objects, and to pull and push
different things. Children who
cannot walk are encouraged to have
for tummy time where they can roll
and play on the floor.
According to the NHS, “Children who
can walk and those who are aged five
and under are encouraged to be
active every day for at least 180
minutes.” There are many benefits to
this including contributing to a
healthy weight and improving
movement and co-ordination.
Ball games and playing on a climbing
frame, skipping, hopping or running
are all fantastic activities to keep
children active. Children under five
should not be encouraged to sit and
be inactive for long periods of time,
unless they are asleep.
To help Nursery Class children
understand the importance of
exercise and exploring movement
each week we provide the
opportunity for the children to
participate within a PE lesson. This
also includes practicing to dress
themselves independently. Each
lesson is structured including a warm
up, then an activity, then ending with
a cooling down session.
Here are some examples of PE
lessons some children have recently
enjoyed participating within, which
you could try at home.
The children each find a space within
the room and some relaxing
background music might be played.
Warm up: Gentle stretches to warm
up body parts: can you touch your
toes? Stretch up towards the sky and
then slowly down one side then
repeat down the other side.
Activity: Provide some pictures of
different animals stretching, ask your
children if they can pose like these
animals, giving the children time to
attempt the pose independently.
Katie Miller, BA (Hons.)
Early Years Teacher
Gershwin Park Nursery