Learning and Development

Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play, both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility.

Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to exploreand play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.

Bolton Start Well Service

Bolton Start Well provide professional development services for the early years workforce, to train and upskill practitioners to effectively support children’s development. You can check out the variety of professional development opportunities and training available in the courses section of the website.

Useful links

Help for early years providers: physical development (Gov.uk)

Featured Downloads

Tips for toilet training
Making the transition from nappy to toilet can be frustrating, these top tips offer some useful advice and guidance for making this process as easy as possible.

UK Physical Activity Guidelines for Early Years (non-walkers)
The introduction of UK early years physical activity guidelines reflect a growing awareness of their importance.

UK Physical Activity Guidelines for Early Years (walkers)
These guidelines give helpful advice to settings in providing enabling environments that contribute to children’s physical development

Early Movers – Getting the best from your environment
The Early Movers leaflet gives some practical ideas to create an environment for physically active play.

Physical Development – Useful Website Factsheet
A list of useful websites for practitioners which provide information, advice and resources to support children’s physical development and nutritional advice.