Special physical development bulletin

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Early years bulletin

15 February 2022


February 2022 - Wellbeing edition

There’s no doubt the ongoing pandemic has had an impact on every aspect of our lives, not least on our health and wellbeing, which could already be at a low ebb as we move through the winter season. This bulletin focuses on practical ways you can look after not just your wellbeing but also that of your colleagues/fellow childcare professionals and the children in your care and help us face whatever challenges the future may bring.


By working to support wellbeing with our children, we are setting them off to a great start in life. Here are some tips for supporting children’s wellbeing:

  1. Value your children: children need to know they are loved. Think how you welcome them, show them by warmth in your smile and words as you interact with them, be positive and encouraging in all your interactions with the children.
  2. Encourage healthy food choices: healthy diets make healthy bodies and minds. Think about the snacks and meals you offer or how you can support parents to make healthy food choices for the children.
  3. Encourage regular physical activity: physical activity keeps children's bodies strong and builds confidence and helps with their relationships with others.  
  4. Play outside: research shows that children have a need to be outside. Make sure your children are accessing the outdoors regularly every day.
  5. Be a good role model: children are far more likely to join in and be positive if you do too.


You can look after your own/colleagues wellbeing by:

  1. Follow a healthy diet: this can protect against some diseases as well as ensuring you have an appropriate body weight.
  2. Exercise regularly: even a short burst of 10 minutes can increase our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
  3. Get enough sleep: sleep allows our bodies to repair themselves.
  4. Take action about those things that we can and need to change. See the Every mind matters website
  5. Accept and ignore those things we can't change. It may help to practise mindfulness (see the useful links section at the end of this bulletin).
  6. Connect with nature: being in nature has been proved to reduce anger, fear and stress and increase pleasant feelings.
  7. Value your colleagues: notice if they've changed their hairstyle and spend time to talk to them about how they really are rather than just accepting "yes, I'm fine".
  8. Value yourself: set aside some protected time each week to pursue what you enjoy. Whether it’s a trip to the gym, a soak in the bath, listening to your favourite music or spending time with your friends - spend time on yourself - you're worth it!


Make the most of the wonderful resources around us...


In Portsmouth, you don’t have to move very far away from your front door to discover some stunning natural locations where you can relax and unwind your mind.

Walking is a great way of clearing your head and appreciating the natural world around us, like this glorious sunrise over a local park.

Don't forget a healthy lifestyle can:

  • reduce the risk of developing life-threatening diseases
  • increase the enjoyment we get from life
  • help us to live to an active and healthy old age.


Ideas to share... Healthy eating - tropical fruits with banana dip - serves 4


  • 1 fresh mango, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 fresh papaya, peeled, deseeded and sliced
  • 200g pineapple pieces in natural juice, drained
  • 100g strawberries, halved and stalks removed
  • 1 banana
  • 1 small 150g pot of yoghurt

(If you want to keep the cost down, just use one type of fruit to serve with the dip. You could try apple or pear slices instead – or whatever fruits are on offer or in season).


  1. Arrange the mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries onto a serving plate.
  2. Slice the banana into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the yoghurt and stir well to mix. Serve, dipping the pieces of fruit into the banana mixture.

(Make the banana dip shortly before eating it so it doesn't go brown).


Although the weather outside may still be cold, think about the places you can explore on our doorstep. Go to the park or beach or local pond. Connect with nature and see how may birds or spring flowers you can see - children won’t even realise how much they are exercising whilst exploring and looking for things. Older children could try and write down what they find or try and remember when they get back to your home/setting.

Nature treasure hunt:

Soil Stick Flower Leaf Cloud
Squirrel Stone Bird Grass Tree


Links to useful resources    

NHS every mind matters Quiz, tips and videos to support adult and children's wellbeing.

NHS better health Weight loss, healthy eating and activity tips and resources including Disney Dance-along videos.

Headspace Videos on mindfulness and other wellbeing topics.

The NSPCC have a dedicated section on their website regarding mental health and parenting, including tips and coping strategies for good mental health.

Freemindfulness.org for free mindfulness videos and exercises.

Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch