Physical Development

Within this Area of Learning there are 2 Aspects

LEARNING OBJECTIVES 30-50 month band


Moving and Handling

  • Moves freely and with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding hopping.
  • Mounts stairs, steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet.
  • Walks downstairs, two feet to each step while carrying a small object.
  • Runs skilfully and negotiates space successfully, adjusting speed or direction to avoid obstacles.
  • Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown.
  • Can catch a large ball.
  • Draws lines and circles using gross motor movements.
  • Uses one-handed tools and equipment, e.g. makes snips in paper with child scissors.
  • Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole-hand grasp.
  • Holds pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control.
  • Can copy some letters, e.g. letters from their name.

Health and Self Care

  • Can tell adults when hungry or tired or when they want to rest or play.
  • Observes the effects of activity on their bodies.
  • Understands that equipment and tools have to be used safely.
  • Gains more bowel and bladder control and can attend to toileting needs most of the time themselves.
  • Can usually manage washing and drying hands.
  • Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open-fronted coat or shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers, and pulls up zipper once it is fastened at the bottom.

We provide opportunities for young children to be active and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement both on a large and small scale. We teach them how to hold mark making tools, use equipment such as scissors and encourage them to take part in activities which require hand-eye coordination and fine motor control.

During the Autumn Term we use a range of large and small play equipment to develop coordination, control and movement through activities such as an obstacle course requiring children to move in different ways, moving to different kinds of music including Bollywood and calming tones and Parachute games. We encourage children to think about what happens to their bodies when they are active e.g getting hot, tired or needing a drink of water. After our visit to the park we create our own park indoors using a climbing frame, and our own Bear Hunt course. Children are also taught and encouraged to use a variety of small equipment safely  e.g bats and balls, using nets to catch fish, snipping/ cutting with scissors to make grass, tweezers, threading leaves, play dough and clay tools, using knives to spread butter.

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We focus on developing a good pencil grip when holding writing implements as an efficient pencil grasp is one that allows the child to write neatly at a reasonable speed without tiring easily especially as they progress through school. Poor pencil grasps do not use the hand muscles efficiently. This results in the child tiring easily and being unable to produce neat handwriting. Children will go through various stages of pencil grip and skilled staff with observe how your child holds their pencil and will provide appropriate support to develop this grip further.

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One of our recent successes was introducing a pre-handwriting scheme (Cambridge University Press – Penpals) which uses music and movement to develop the physical skills necessary for pattern making and letter formation. Last year to further compliment the handwriting scheme, we successfully introduced a series of activities called “Dough Gym” and “Funky Fingers” designed to promote muscle development along the arm to the finger muscles to aid mark making and writing. For further details about the Dough Gym, please click here

We would be very happy for you to come and watch a session in Nursery. Please ask a member of staff who will happily make arrangements for you.

Further ideas to support the development of fine motor and scissor skills can be found on these brochures.

Activities to Support Fine Motor Skills

How to Help Your Child Using Scissors

Further ideas about supporting the development of your child’s balancing skills can be found below:

How to Help Your Child with Balancing Skills

We spend time supporting and teaching the children how to dress and undress through putting on their coats, hats, scarves and spend time teaching them how to use our toilets and the importance of hand washing.