Physical development is one of the prime areas of the EYFS. It focuses on not only children's physical skills but also their health, independence and self help skills. Children develop their control over big and small movements gaining the ability to join in with games and the co-ordination, strength and dexterity needed for writing. Children learn spacial awareness and begin to explore different environments with confidence and enthusiasm.


Often as adults we can be risk adverse and may approach physical activities by telling children to be careful , you can support them to manage safety and take appropriate risks by carefully considering the language used for example instead of be careful why not try some of these suggested sentences:

  • Instead of be careful say- 'Its a little icy today I wonder what we need to think about'
  • Instead of be careful say- remember to take your time because balancing needs lots of concentration 
  • Instead of be careful say- notice how


Encourage problem solving during physical activity by asking:

  • What’s your plan… if you climb that boulder, cross that log?
  • What can you use… to get across, for your adventure?
  • Where will you… put that rock, climb that tree, dig that hole?
  • How will you…. get down, go up, get across?
  • Who will… be with you, go with you, help you if?