Jabadao Resource Hub


The Jabadao team are a group of movers, thinkers and body workers. We've been working in close collaboration with the early years since 1985, looking for ways to support our youngest children to build a great relationship with their body - foundations for a lifetime. 

" We're driven by the goal of developing a learning culture that supports body and cognitive development equally. "

Welcome to Jabadao

Physical development and wellbeing

For practitioners across the early years 

Train individually

In a group 

Across a district or network 

We're a research, development and training organisation, exploring physical development across the early years.

We believe that human beings thrive when we can live as fully in our bodies as we do in our heads, and in our increasingly sedentary culture, this takes some thought ... and some new ideas.

We focus on what it takes to develop a confident, skilled, comfortable and expressive body, from the get-go, for a lifetime, and how this supports all learning and wellbeing.

How can we be more helpful in supporting children to shape their physical development?

We all want children to be as physically fit, skilled and confident as possible, so we try different programmes and activities to boost fine and gross motor skills. We offer games and activities to give them lots of practice and exercises to work on something they find difficult.

Each thing helps...

BUT still some of our children don't move as confidently as we would like them to.

Q: How can we make a difference for these children?

A: When we understand more about how physical development unfolds, we can give more detailed and targeted support. 

Physical development theory, explained simply

Join us to build your understanding of how physical development works and how movement play supports sensory, physical, cognitive, social and emotional learning.

The approach is called Developmental Movement Play. It's child-led and play based and puts the 'Infant Expert' at the core. It offers lots of detail which rounds up into a simple framework for planning, observation and assessment using a developmental movement approach. 

Learn the approach in four online courses. Take specific courses, dive into the whole package, or get in touch to develop a learning project specific to your aims.

Grow your knowledge, develop your practice

  • How do the opportunities babies and children have for movement play affect all their other development and learning?

  • What kinds of movement do they need to develop well? 

  • Why are some children constantly on the move, whilst others avoid movement activities and how can we support them all to get what they need?

  • What gets in the way of, or holds up, a child's drive to develop well?

  • How can we support our most boisterous children to move as much as they want and need to - safely and with purpose?

When adults think differently, children move differently

Gail MacDonald | Flying Start Advisory Teacher

Ceredigion County Council

" Where do I start? The simple way that all the information is relayed, normal everyday language and humour added into the mix. The stories are brilliant. Some are very emotive and gave me goose bumps whilst listening. "

Marie Whiting | Setting Lead

" We've developed and transformed our approach quite significantly and it's no coincidence that it's alongside the team training we did around Developmental Movement Play "

Nancy Farrow | Head Teacher

Grace Owen Nursery 

"I don't think we could make our small, busy nursery work nearly as well if we didn't have the Movement play Area. I would never be without one.

"The training opens everybody’s eyes - it certainly inspired practitioners to see things differently; and to see children’s learning and behaviour differently. We’re able to look at what they’re doing and interpret it in different ways now … and that leads into supporting children in all areas of their development and the Early Years Foundation Stage."

Liz Nunn | Nursery Manager 

Dizzies Day Nursery 

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Developmental Movement Play Online 

Shaping physcial foundations

The Feeling of Me

Body awareness and sensory processing

Floor Play Foundations 

The building blocks of physical development

Halfway & Upright Play

Building confident bodies

Setting up an Indoor Movement Play Area

Valuing children's movement play afresh

Choose a course 

Choose a single course or grow your understanding of the full approach.


Press Play

Dive into a world of new knowledge about physical development.


Embed new practice

Take the approach into your setting and implement immediately.


Join thousands using Developmental Movement Play

Creating an Indoor Movement Play Area 

We share our experience of creating Movement Play Areas in the indoor environment, that are designed to support many different kinds of whole-bodied physical experience. From lolling to leaping, every bit counts. Discover how early years settings have seen children thrive when they create this special place for movement play - a place to grow a sense of body and a sense of self, to develop physical control and skill, to develop social play with their peers - and a place to return to, to regulate throughout the day.


Powerful development and learning happens here.

Dive deeper

  • How does a child build body awareness?

  • How does sensory development dovetail with motor development?

  • What underpins the capacity for spatial awareness?

  • What is cross-lateral movement and why is it important?

  • How can we support children to notice and read the body signals that tell them about how they feel inside?

  • Why is 'mouthing' objects important and why do some children go on doing it as they get older?

  • Why is tummy time important? And what other kinds of floor play are important?

  • Why are hopping, or skipping, hard for some children and not others?

  • Why do some bodies find it hard to hold a pencil, or manipulating objects?

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