Special physical development bulletin

View in your web browser

Early years bulletin

14 September 2022


Although it's starting to feel autumnal, there are still lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy physical activities in the outdoor area. In this bulletin we are going to think about opportunities for autumn outdoor activities and how you can embrace risky play outside.


Falling leaves give numerous possibilities for physical activities. Try chasing and catching them as they fall or engage your children's creative side as they pretend to be a tree swaying in the breeze or an autumn leaf swirling around as it falls to the ground. Children love shuffling through piles of fallen leaves - they can also enjoy collecting and transporting them around or searching for natural treasures such as a shiny conker or acorn or a few blackberries without realising how many steps they are taking as well as bending and stretching. Why not pile them into lines to make a track or maze and then have a race to see who can find their way through the fastest?  


Leaves also allow children to be really creative and use their fine motor skills too when they are picking up or holding stalks or crayons, pencils or paintbrushes and having a go at leaf printing, nature collages, bark rubbing or just making mud pies.


Why not try and introduce some healthy risk through outdoor adventures?

Risk is part of our everyday lives. Learning to navigate and assess risk is an essential life skill for all children, but embracing risky play and feeling comfortable in our decision to let children take risks can be hard for both parents and practitioners. There are benefits in letting children take healthy risks and outdoor activities are one of the best ways to embrace healthy risk. Getting children out into open spaces like the woods or a farm is really helpful in introducing natural risk. Here, without the distractions of toys or screens, children learn to find and make their own fun. You might find children creating their own games and contests, typically climbing over natural obstacles such as rocks and boulders or fallen tree branches and jumping and running free through long grass, mud and dirt. They like to push their bodies to see what they can accomplish and test the limits in a natural environment. 

Whilst playing outside, children will inevitably fall down and get dirty. Sometimes they will scrape a knee or get some bruises. They fail, they succeed, they try again, they push their limits, they question their ability. Every time they do so, they start to learn why that happened, what they’re capable of, and how to manage it differently (or the same) next time. These types of experiences give children the opportunity to see what produces the result they want or need in a given situation, which is exactly what risk assessment is all about. Based on an article from Run wild my child.


NEW! Extra workshop added to the 2022/23 Early Years Training and Development Programme...

Risk in the Outdoors

Wednesday 21 September 2022

6.30pm - 8.30pm

Landport Adventure Playground

Hosted by Early Years Quality and Sufficiency Officer, Layla Riches and Play Services Manager, Joan Fisher.

You will learn about the benefits of risk taking in the early years, spend time in the adventure playground gathered around the fire pit discussing risky play and gain confidence and practical ideas in supporting risk taking in your setting.

Find out more and book your place here


Wondering what to pop into your child's lunchbox? Here are some easy healthy lunchbox ideas.


Soon it will be spooky October, why not try making these tasty, scary Halloween pizzas. 


  • Fresh, frozen or homemade pizzas bases, bread or crumpets 
  • Tomato puree
  • pepperoni
  • olives
  • variety of cheese pieces/slices/grated
  • bacon or ham
  • Tomato ketchup
  1. Cut out at least one circular pizza "face" per child with a large cookie cutter
  2. Spread a layer of tomato puree over the pizza base
  3. Add on ingredients to make eyes, cut up meat "eyes" or "fangs", cheese "bandages", hair etc
  4. Bake as necessary (or send home for parent's to heat up)  
  5. Enjoy dipped into ketchup "blood"

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