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By Tracey Godridgewriter with the National School Grounds Charity Learning through Landscapes

Get the children active and enjoy this exciting selection of outdoor games

Fun and games

Allocate a large, open space outdoors for the children to safely take part in high-energy active games, and in which they can fully absorb themselves in the play. Playing outside provides an opportunity for height as well as breadth, and physical activities need lots of space.

child with football

Consider uneven ground, mounds, changes in levels and gradients, as well as surfaces other than tarmac or paving, such as grass, bark and muddy areas, to provide opportunities for the children to learn new physical skills. Make stretches of paving, tarmac or grass more interesting by using chalk or cones to mark out runways or balancing lines.

Use moveable boundaries such as traffic cones, plants in containers, or chalk lines to change the layout of the area, depending on the activity.

Suggested resources

Chalk; ropes; tractor and car tyres; planks; logs; milk crates; buckets; rope; pulleys; trolleys; suitcases; bags; baskets; different-sized balls; beanbags; chalk; scarfs; ribbons; bubbles; maypole or central feature to dance round; plastic tunnel or barrel.

1 Over, under and through

Follow an obstacle course

Physical Development

Movement and Space

Development matters: move freely with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping (30-50 months); experiment with different ways of moving (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: move with control and coordination.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

A variety of sturdy, outdoor play equipment such as crates and planks for climbing over and walking along; expandable tunnel or barrel for crawling through; tyre to jump in and out of; chalk for marking balancing lines; paper plates for stepping-stones; slide or climbing frame.

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