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Developmental Movement Play

an ongoing collaboration between movement specialists and early years practitioners  

Developmental Movement Play (DMP) is a framework for understanding and supporting young children’s physical development in early childhood. It builds their natural drive to move in ways that will build a truly confident, expressive, skilled and happy physicality. 

Principles  

01. Babies and children are Infant Experts in their own physical development - hardwired to seek what they need for their unique body, in the midst of their unique life. 

02. Infant Experts need Helpful Adults who understand the detail of how physical development works and how to help them get what they need. 

03. There are two important foundations for physical development - sensory processing (the feel and awareness of the body) and motor skills (the way it moves). Helpful Adults know how to support both in equal measure.

04. Opportunities to dive deeply into movement play need to be freely available - indoors as well as out, because the movement indoors is different and equally important. 

Framework

Babies and children achieve important physical milestones in many different ways. Developmental Movement Play offers an open framework that equips adults to support and celebrate the way each child builds their own physical development.

5 kinds of Movement Play... 

form the building blocks for sound sensory processing and strong motor skills. 

01. Floor Play

This is the workplace for developing bodies, building firm foundations for all the movement that will follow. 

02. Halfway Play

No rush - here bodies develop the strength, adaptability & grounded connection needed for all movement.

03. Push Pull Play

Robust movement with lots of resistance builds the felt sense of the body, a vital part of body confidence & skill.

04. Spin Tip Upside Down Play

Builds balance, equilibrium and important components for spatial awareness and physical confidence.

05. Upright Play

Build, explore and improvise - delight in  all the things a body can do when it has strong foundations. 

“We’ve developed and transformed our approach quite significantly ... and it’s no co-incidence that it’s alongside the whole team training we did around Developmental Movement Play."

Marie Whiting - Setting Lead

DMP Articles 

“ Key workers say that their relationships with their key children are developing into closer, more trusting partnerships now they are using movement play as a means of communicating and building relationships."

Our physical state affects our emotions, our mood, our mind and our health.  We humans thrive when we can be in near constant motion.

 

Traditionally, we invite children to take their full-bodied movement play outside, so it might seem perverse to bring it inside. But DMP offers highly focused indoor practice, inspired by over twenty years collaboration with early years settings.

 

In a Movement Play Area children work on many kinds of learning - sensory processing; motor development; they build relationships in nonverbal ways and they explore and express aspects of their lives using their first language - movement. Here they find a different kind of voice, one that allows them to speak of things that they don’t yet have words for. Perhaps none of us do …

Indoor Movement Play