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Jabadao in the Early Years

The human animal is built to move. Our learning, health and happiness depend upon it … and our children know it

What do children's bodies need?

Young children are on the move pretty much all the time. And it’s not because they can't keep still. It’s because they’re hardwired to be in near constant motion in order to develop well.

We explore:


  • what children’s bodies need - and why

  • why some children seek more movement than others; and some resist any involvement

  • how we keep them safe if they need to move, but get giddy when they do

Drawing on theory about developmental movement, sensory integration, neuroscience and a range of movement and bodywork practices, we give you new ways to understand the movement children need.

And offer very practical guidance on how to ensure they have the developmental opportunities they need.

Step 1

Create a Movement Play Area to support children’s spontaneous, free flow Movement Play

Step 2

Grow your developmental movement knowledge - and refresh your pedagogy

Step 3

Support more body learning - in the Movement Play Area and the wider learning environment

Here are a few Movement Play Areas others use in their setting
Step 1

Create a Movement Play Area at the heart of your learning environment

A Movement Play Area is a space within your indoor continuous provision, where children can move when they want and how they want, with some simple rules to keep it safe, purposeful and focused.


It gives new value to children’s love of spontaneous movement play and the learning it fuels.

It’s a space where children create entirely personalised learning experiences for themselves, that fit their unique learning pathway perfectly.

It’s a place where they come to make friends and learn how to negotiate their wants and needs with those of others - even when they don’t share a common language.

And a place to return to regulate, and re-regulate, throughout the day.

Train with us

Speak to us about a training project or join an online course today

We take you on a journey to re-imagine your physical development curriculum

Step 2

Grow your developmental knowledge

Look again at lots of familiar little movements and rethink their importance.

A developmental movement approach allows you to understand children’s movement in deeper ways, unpacking both the processes that build sensory awareness and the building blocks of motor development.

Learn how reflexes prompt babies and children to explore the early patterns; and how these patterns combine to create complex movement. Use this knowledge to support great physical development - and the children you’re concerned about.


Just as the alphabet gives us the tools we need to create all the words and sentences we will ever want, so the early movement patterns and sensory processes combine to create comfortable, connected, confident bodies.

Step 3

Support children’s bodies in every aspect of your learning environment

Look again at how children are moving in your spaces - indoors as well as outside.


Use your new knowledge to:

  • adjust the wider learning environment to support a developmental movement approach

  • include new movement observation structures to help you see more of what your children’s bodies are telling you

  • create sensory profiles of children you are concerned about to understand their needs better and to find new ways to support them

  • share new knowledge with parents


When adults think differently, children move differently.

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