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This Week at Red Bus – Physical Development

This week Red Bus Coombe Dingle and Downend have been taking part in lots of different activities that link to Physical Development! 

Moving and Handling

In Downend, babies have been spending lots of time in the rooftop garden! There are lots of opportunities for children to move and explore various positions – from sitting, to pulling themselves up, to standing on their own. Younger babies will start to sit unsupported on the floor, leaving their hands free to reach for all the different toys. At this age children use the palmar grasp, wrapping their fingers around an object in their palm and discovering they can pull, throw, and shake them too. The adults support this by encouraging children to make their own free movements, not putting them in a certain position.

Older babies start to use both hands independently, like the children at Coombe Dingle exploring the stacking shapes. One hand places a block whilst the other may steady the tower, or help them lean over to stack them high! Sensory experiences also help with physical development, as the children explored a colourful tray full of rice and different toys this week. The children were challenged as they navigated varying sizes of object with their hands, and learn to make marks in the rice itself. Even at this young age, activities like these will link writing and literacy skills later on!

To celebrate the Olympics this week, Kindergarten Downend have been taking part in their own games in the garden! At this age children really begin to explore their gross motor skills, so this activity is a great opportunity for them to make BIG movements like spinning, jumping, and running! Afterwards the children made their own medals, which helps with fine motor skills – using their hands to move the foil around the cardboard disc.

Kindergarten Coombe Dingle have been exploring the wooden tools this week! The children took turns to role play with them – on their own, and with prompting from the adults as they encouraged them to try new ways of moving. By naming all the tools and the actions – “Chop chop with the saw” – the children learned word recognition for both the objects and the movements they were making!

Pre-School Downend took part in a threading activity, which is perfect for developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. The children moved the shoelaces up and through the different holes, using both hands independently from each other and without adult support!

Pre-School Coombe Dingle have been spending time in the library this week, experimenting with using the stylus on the screen. The children loved making big swooping patterns, using their whole arm to move up and down, and also making smaller movements using just their hands – and a little more precision!

By the time most children reach Pre-School age, they can confidently walk, and climb using alternate feet whilst maintaining good balance. In an obstacle course in the garden, Coombe Dingle started to explore other physical skills such as balancing on one foot (however briefly!), catching and releasing balls, and running with an awareness of the environment around them – adjusting their speed or direction to avoid others. 

Health and Self Care

At Red Bus there are set mealtimes for the children throughout the day, and as they grow so does their independence and interest in food and feeding themselves. From a very young age children learn to anticipate food routines, and as their mobility develops children are able to grasp finger foods and bring them to their mouths as well as use handled cups to drink from. Young babies will first sit in individual high chairs, but later on are sat in groups around a table of peers, helping social interaction and promoting good behaviour.

In Kindergarten, children will attempt to feed themselves as they develop awareness of their own abilities. They can hold a cup with both hands, and drink from it without spilling too much! At this age children may develop likes and dislikes with food and drink, but may also be willing to try different foods and textures. The adults will value the children’s choices, but encourage them to try new things and praise them afterwards!

Oral care is also a new component of the EYFS, and in Kindergarten Downend this week they have been exploring the role play toothbrushes! The children picked up the toothpaste tubes and brushes and modelled how they brush their teeth at home. 

Pre-School Coombe Dingle have taken part in lots of Health and Self Care activities this week! Some children learned about their bodies, as they read books and explored the painted skeleton. The children pointed out all the parts of the body they knew! 

Around this age children begin to understand the importance of hygiene, such as hand washing and teeth cleaning. Pre-School were given their own whiteboard hands that had lots of dirt and germs on them – oh no! The children talked about why its important to keep clean, and after scrubbing up the illustrated hands they each visited the bathroom to practice washing their own hands too!

Older children are also able to discuss and consider the idea of healthy foods. In a group, Pre-School looked at lots of different food such as eggs, fruit and chocolate. The children were able to talk about their own experiences, what food they have at home and what is their favourite thing to eat!

Visit www.birthto5matters.org.uk for more information!