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Supporting physical development in early childhood
Supporting physical development in early childhood

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6.2 Different spaces to move

It stands to reason that children need space in which to move. Indoors this might be as simple as moving furniture to the edges of the room to enable unobstructed movement. Outdoors, big open spaces not only promote energetic and controlled movement, but also offer children a different perspective of their own body in relation to space.

An outdoor play area with a sand pit, trikes and slide
Figure 10

It is also important that young children experience movement on a variety of surfaces, such as grass, sand, pebbles and woodchip as well as carpet, concrete and playground ‘soft surfaces’. Different terrains, with uneven or unpredictable surfaces and gradients provide different ‘sensory feedback’ to develop balance, self-awareness and control (White, 2015).

This is further enhanced when children have the opportunity to go barefoot on grass or sand. Think about the garden/outdoor area at your setting, home or local park, and consider the different surfaces available for children to move on.