Physical Play and Activities (HEYA)

We have created this policy from recommendations within the British Heart Foundation National centre’s ‘Early Movers’ pack and their recommendation that children should have the opportunity to be active 180 minutes a day and also National guidelines on physical activity levels of sedentary behaviour, issued by the Chief Medical Officer


Please also see policies for; Health and Safety, Suitable wear, outdoor play, outings and trips.



To provide varied developmentally appropriate physical activities for all children to enjoy regularly throughout the course of every day. This is because being physically active is vital to improve our health, wellbeing and helps us to live longer. If children are active from the earliest months it will establish a positive pattern for their whole lives.



  • For staff to be positive role models to all children.  This will be shown by practitioners joining in all physical activity; from dancing inside to splashing in the muddy puddles.  To joining in fine motor activities and providing resources for all developmental stages. As a setting, we would expect this to be done energetically and encouraging children to join in and praising their efforts. Physical activity can be planned by an adult or spontaneous from a child’s interest/lead.


  • To ensure that all children are encouraged and provided opportunity to meet the national guidelines in respect of physical activity of 180 minutes a day pro-rata to the time spent in our care, whilst considering varying abilities. At Ladybirds, we have taken the steps to remove chairs from the play areas (apart from snack) which enables children to strengthens up their muscles, wriggle if they need to at an activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.  Staff encourage this by using phrases such as ‘get comfy’ at story/carpet time, we have tummy time when we do remembering time in our routine and encourage everyone to stand up when we are doing singing.


  • To provide age-appropriate resources for active play. Outside we have a variety of bikes in sizes and skill level (pedals, no pedals, double bikes, balance bikes). Through planning we ensure a variety of skills are stimulated during activities; pulling, pushing, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking etc. This is also shown inside on our Movement area and the variation in activities provided


  • To provide opportunity for all children to practice a wide range of physical activity co-ordinating and using both fine and gross motor skills. We enhance each of our areas to ensure all children (whatever age/developmental stage) can access the equipment. From palmer grip scissors to normal scissors, small paper and large paper for mark making, big/ small buckets and spades, variety of fasteners on dressing up clothes, large puzzles with grips to small pieced sets etc


  • To encourage active travel within my setting and amongst families e.g park and stride schemes. We carry out questionnaires with our families twice a year to see how active they are as a family and how we could help to support them. Through their suggestions and our ideas, we will plan ‘walk/ride/scoot to school week’ trips to the library and nature areas to promote walking, also we hold annual sports day. We have introduced ‘outdoor activity’ bags, where parents can borrow the bags, carry out the activity and put photos/comments onto tapestry and any future home learning..


  • To encourage and ensure opportunity exists for both indoor and outdoor play daily. This is achieved by a free flow setting and outside being available for 2 hours of a three-hour session. We have welly boots, waterproofs, hats, gloves, spare coats, summer hats to cater for all weather. This includes appropriate clothing for staff members also so they are actively promoting indoor and outdoor play for all children.


  • To allow children to be independent when playing and to take reasonable risks to allow them to develop their physical skills.


  • To limit screen-based time to a maximum of one hour a day pro-rata to the time spent in my care. At Ladybirds, we do have ipads available, but we support the children to use sand timers to ensure they only have a small period of time on them and share the resources with their peers.


Ethos and environment

As a child care provider we have given thought to how indoor and outdoor spaces can support and enhance children’s experience and opportunity for active play and allow children to move freely between both environments. Our routine and development of staff ensures that we operate a free flow environment, that we have opportunities to dance, sing and explore movement as a whole group and individually on the movement area (following DMP ethos). We ensure the environment is also rich in opportunities to develop fine motor skills and ensure equipment is varied to meet all developmental needs. But adults offer support to encourage children to develop their skills with harder equipment (i.e normal scissors, bikes with pedals, smaller balls).


Resource provision and facilities

In our parent welcome pack we ask that parents provide their children with suitable clothes for all weathers, however we do have enough full waterproof suits and welly boots for all children/sunhats/hats and gloves for colder weather so all children can go outside whatever the weather. Outside we have tents/dens that can provide shade when it is very hot. Inside we have the movement area where children have a safe area to explore different movements and skills. We have gathering time daily where we do a physical action song and talk about the affect this has on our body, in addition we are a Silver Healthy Eating so therefore discuss healthy food choices at snack and lunch time with the children. Since achieving our silver physical our weekly planning has two physical focused large group times a week.  As mentioned earlier in the policy are resources our accessible to all as we ensure they are at varying skill levels.



Early years curriculums/frameworks

This policy supports the following requirements:

  • National guidelines on physical activity levels and levels of sedentary behaviour, issued by the Chief Medical Officer.
  • Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirements. This states that we should provide opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement (1.5 pg. 8) Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. We should also have regard to the published guidance on physical activity and that children aged 0-5 years should have 3 hours of physical activity a day.
  • Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS)
  • British Heart Foundation Early Movers Resource Packs


Active travel

Active travel is practiced whenever possible and is promoted to families as best practice for increased physical activity. We hold ‘walk/scoot/ride to school’ weeks and encourage parents to participate.


Assessment/recording/reporting and working with parents

Children’s progress will be assessed, recorded and monitored and progress relayed to parents through the use of our daily observations, planning, home learning sheets and daily chats. Here we will work together to support each child’s development. We will also link with other professionals that can offer support or advice, including Health visitors, doctors, sure start.

We also as a team use the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) to ensure the setting is providing all the activities/resources to meet the children’s physical needs and that we are developing good practice. We use this to monitor the environment/staff and the setting to improve our Physical Activity. This also highlights any staff training needs and the setting expectations of role-modelling and joining in will be covered in all staff induction programmes.



Families will be consulted on physical activity practice and needs of the child. Families will be informed of any up-dates on the guidelines issued by the BHFNC. We will do this through regular questionnaires and updates on our website/newsletter, Facebook page and inviting parents in to learn more about the importance of physical activity and what they can do at home as well.


Document ID-


Policy adopted at meeting – Nov 2017

Reviewed by : Ladybirds Directors


Date reviewed




Nov 2017

July 2021



March 2018





Print | Sitemap
© Ladybirds Preschool Southampton