Help Your Child Become a Confident & Skilful Mover and Learner


Help Your Child Become a Confident & Skilful Mover and Learner

Babies and young children love to move and find out what their bodies can do – have you ever seen a 5 year old do the splits?

As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – we should capitalise on this joy of movement and help children get the exercise they need for healthy growth and development. It also helps sets the basics of children understanding and most importantly, having the motivation to lead healthy lifestyles. Did you know that movement builds brain patterns and is also the natural way children learn?

Children are constantly learning how they fit into the world and the way they do it is through their bodies. They are naturally inquisitive, active and will play games instinctively. being creative they learn literacy, numeracy and the way the world works in a large scale physical fun way. If your child has lots of early movement play, it can build the brain and essential skills for life.

Movement play

Babies and young children are naturally driven to move their bodies in ways that help them to develop. However, they do still need plenty of encouragement, space and interested adults to make sure these key physical developmental movements take place! Find space so that your babies can have plenty of floor play on backs and tummies and enjoy crawling and belly crawling. Give them lots of experiences pushing, pulling, stretching and spinning around too. All these movements are essential for healthy growth and development as they develop a sense of the way their body works and a fundamental sense of balance.

Movement skills

Basic movement skills, such as running, hopping, jumping, throwing, are the movement patterns a child is physically ready to refine and develop between the ages of 3 and 5 years. They start to form the basis for more complex skills, such as running and kicking in football and jumping and shooting in basketball. Give them a wide range of games and equipment to help your children develop these fundamental skills and try new physical experiences. Allow them to challenge themselves safely and to practise and repeat skills to develop confidence and competence. Can you remember how many times you’ve play ‘throw and catch’ with a child? Whilst at first they may be frustrated that they drop it and can’t throw far, repeating the exercise allows them to learn quickly (adults can also have fun too!)

Movement and dance

Moving to music and moving imaginatively is another great way to help babies and young children understand how and where their bodies move. They develop an awareness of moving fast, slowly, heavily or lightly; an awareness of space, high, low, forwards and backwards. Encourage your children to either move alone, with a partner or in a large group and so they can share space and relate to each other creatively. As parents, enjoy jigging about with babies and dancing with children of all ages. Being healthy and active as parents is equally important so help children to pretend they are in the jungle, or under the sea, and encourage them to use their bodies in many different ways – you might not want to crawl on the floor with them, but find your inner spirit and laugh about how silly granny looks!
As parents, carers and grandparents you have a key role in supporting your children’s physical development. The most important thing you can do is be positive about your child’s movement! Notice their everyday movements and comment appreciatively on what they do.

A few tips for you: rather than say ‘don’t run’, say ‘you have lots of energy today! Let’s run in the garden!’ Instead of saying, ‘be careful you’ll fall!’ say, ‘you are high! How are you going to get down?’ Children instinctively know what their bodies need! So help them do it!

At Toad Hall Nursery we always make sure that children and babies have lots of active movement time – we’re always happy to offer any tips and suggestions so if you’ve run out of ideas or just bored of playing the same game, just ask us!

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Audrey Hack

Audrey Hack – Nursery Manager at Toad Hall Nursery Group, Felcott Road.
I have been managing the nursery for 15 years and absolutely love every minute! We have over 81 children at Felcott Road and another nursery on Manor Road.
As a group, we really do take time to continuously improve learning and development for our children; at the same time – we make the nursery is a caring, safe and fun place for everyone.
For more information – visit or email You can find our nurseries on Facebook as well as Twitter – just follow @ToadHallGroup

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