Special physical development bulletin

View in your web browser

Early years bulletin

23 January 2023


It's that time of the year when we make an effort to change for the better so why not apply that to your setting too?  


Now is a great time to encourage your parents to think about their child's packed lunches and ensure that they are giving their child the best start in developing healthy eating habits and getting the nutrients they need (and avoiding the fats, sugar and salt that they don’t need). Why not try swapping a chopped up egg for a sandwich, some blueberries for a Fruit Winder or switching their cake bar to a slice of malt loaf? There are lots of ideas for healthy food swaps on the NHS healthier families website.


Early movers is a collaborative project between the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Loughborough University and their onsite nursery. The scheme is aimed at helping parents and early years practitioners to understand the importance of physical activity for babies and children and help everyone feel confident in providing physical development activities to support a child's motor skills, reflexes and core stability. There is a website that has been designed alongside early years practitioners to help you understand and feel confident in providing physical development opportunities to children in your setting or at home. By browsing through the categories on the website, you will be able to learn a little more about some of the core principles underpinning physical development in the early years and see how even something as easy as crouching to pick up a stick or select resources from a low basket or cupboard can help build core strength and help children's muscles develop to help get them ready for school.


Have you or the children spent too long on screens over the Christmas period? Technology is a wonderful thing, but too much time on screens can take its toll on everyone's physical (and also mental) health and definitely reduces the amount of exercise we do. Why not unplug yourself from all things digital, reconnect yourself with nature or friends and get out and about for a walk around the park, forest or beach, splash in puddles, practice some mindfulness listening in your outdoor area or just have a walk and chat with friends in the fresh air?


Children are often unwell during the winter months - The NHS healthier together website has lots of useful guides if you or your parents are worried about a child and covers a range of illnesses in children over 3 months including croup, fevers, earache and strep A/scarlet fever as well as other rashes.


Crouching helps to develop balance and can be encouraged both indoors and outdoors without even realising it through:

  • Picking up sticks, leaves, pebbles or balls outside
  • picking up toys, balls, ribbons
  • choosing objects from low level baskets or boxes
  • exploring natural objects outside
  • digging with a trowel
  • collecting and retrieving objects
  • sweeping

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Approx 80g rolled oats/oat flour
  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
  2. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  3. Mash the banana until very smooth in a bowl
  4. Add in the oats, mixing until all combined (you may need to add in more or less oats depending on the size and ripeness of your banana)
  1. Spoon onto the baking tray (squashing them into cookie shapes)
  2. Bake in the over for approx. 15 mins until golden brown/set
  3. Allow to cool
  4. Store in an air-tight container for 1-2 days or freeze until needed

If you wish, additional fruits such as dried cranberries, blueberries or raspberries or fresh fruit juice such as from a lime, orange or lemon can be added to change the flavour.


We Can Week, Energise Me's award-winning celebration of children's mental and physical wellbeing is back for 2023 and will run from Monday 6 to Friday 10 February.


The week aims to encourage children from early years through to secondary to explore their physical and mental wellbeing.

The week has been divided into five key themed days:

  • Mindful Monday
  • Tasty Tuesday
  • Wellbeing Wednesday
  • Together Thursday
  • Physical activity Friday

There are resources to support carers and practitioners with conversations and activities for different age groups. If you would like to take part, visit the Energise Me website to register.

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