Physical Development Bulletin

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Early years bulletin

27 June 2022


Welcome to June's physical development bulletin. Now that the warmer weather is finally here we are turning our thoughts to summer activities and how to stay safe in the sun.


Whilst we are pleased to finally see the sun, we need to remember to keep safe as sunburn is not only painful, but too much exposure to the sun, especially for young children can be harmful for them in later life.

Top tips for keeping safe in the sun

  • Babies under six months should never be left in direct sunlight
  • Keep children out of the sun between 11.00am - 3.00pm
  • Let children play in the shade instead
  • If you don’t have shade, put up tents, gazebos or awnings to create space to play in the shade
  • Encourage children to wear hats and loose long-sleeved clothing 
  • Use a high factor sunscreen (30+ or 50+) applied regularly, especially after being in water. Don’t forget to apply to necks, ears, feet and hands
  • Don't forget to lead by example, stay in the shade during 11.00am - 3.00pm and wear a hat and sunscreen yourself

This and other information about keeping safe in the sun can be found on the early years alliance website. You can also find information about sunscreen and sun safety on the NHS website


Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and over the last decade, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma in the UK has increased by almost half. 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases are preventable.

You can reduce your chances of developing skin cancer by:

  • Applying sunscreen (at least SPF 30 or 50) on a regular basis to avoid burning, especially after being in water
  • Staying out of the sun when it is at its strongest, between 11.00am - 3.00pm
  • Avoiding sunbeds

Find out more on the NHS website.


Thinking about potty training during the warmer weather? Each child is different and just as they learn to walk and talk at different ages, so they learn how to use the toilet and shed those nappies at different ages too. Most children are ready to be potty trained between 18 months and 3 years old so if a child looks like they are ready, the summer is a great time to try. The ERIC website has some great resources for both practitioners and families to use when potty training a child including 10 top tips, podcasts and blogs as well as resources and products.


The warmer weather is a perfect time for large water play activities and here's a simple one you can do at home (and it helps clean up at the same time).

Just fill up a huge container with soapy water and encourage your child to collect up their toys from around the garden and with a selection of brushes (large - such as brooms, clean toilet brushes or small - such as paintbrushes and dishwashing brushes) encourage them to clean the toys before wiping them dry with a cloth. This activity is not only good fun and something they will play with for ages, it's also cheap and uses a whole range of both large and smaller muscles as your child manipulates the large brushes or wipes the equipment dry and also the smaller muscles needed to perfect their fine pincer grip as they pick up the smaller toys and wipe them with a cloth.


Summer is the perfect time for outdoor snacks and dips later in the afternoon once the main heat of the sun has gone. These and other great recipes to try making with children, are available on the BBC website. Any of the ingredients can be substituted with alternatives to take into account allergies, special diets or personal preferences.

Beany dip

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, butter beans, pinto or borlotti beans (no added salt), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp tahini (optional – for making hummus)
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, plus extra, to taste

Place the chickpeas or beans into a bowl, blend or mash with a fork or masher, or the end of a rolling pin until the beans are a rough paste. (Some beans will mash more easily than others). You can leave them chunky or keep going until they are smooth. Add the crushed garlic and tahini (if using) and mix well. To get the right “dippable” consistency add a teaspoon each of water, olive oil and lemon juice and mix well. Keep adding water, oil and lemon until the dip is the texture and taste you want. 

Cucumber yoghurt dip

  • ½ cucumber
  • 150ml/5fl oz plain yoghurt (or a dairy-free alternative)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • small bunch fresh herbs such as mint, coriander or parsley (optional)

Grate the cucumber or chop up the cucumber finely before mashing with a fork (a grown up should supervise this). Add to a bowl with the yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil. Add any herbs if you like, chopped with scissors. Stir well and then taste - add more lemon as needed.

Fruity salsa

  • 10 cherry tomatoes (or 3 larger tomatoes)
  • 1-2 spring onions, chopped finely with scissors
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • ½ mango, peel removed by an adult, chopped
  • handful of sweetcorn (fresh, tinned or frozen and defrosted)
  • small bunch of herbs, such as mint, coriander or parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • squeeze lemon juice

Carefully chop the cherry tomatoes or big tomatoes into small pieces using a salad knife (a grown up should supervise this) stir the chopped tomatoes together with the chopped spring onions, cucumber, mango and sweetcorn. Mix in any chopped herbs you want to add, with a teaspoon of olive oil and have a taste. You may want to add a squeeze of lemon.

Serve all 3 dips with crusty bread, strips of pitta bread or sticks of vegetables such as pepper, cucumber or chopped tomatoes for dipping or use as a topping for wraps, baked potatoes, pitta or flatbreads.


This video from The Lullaby Trust contains some helpful tips on baby summer safety so you can enjoy the warm weather while knowing how to keep little ones comfortable and cool.

More information on baby summer safety can be found here.

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