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Case Study: Running, sliding, crashing

This is a case study created by a Teaching Assistant in Foundation Stage in a Primary School. Notice the really clear signals this little chap is giving about what he needs in his body to support his development. Do you recognise him in your own setting?

Teaching Assistant, Early Years Centre, North Warwickshire

The boy is an academic child who came to us in September reading and doing mental calculations in his head. 

Physical Profile

He had difficulties with motor control - both fine and gross - and found it very difficult to do things slowly and calmly. 

He found it a struggle to walk anywhere and would choose to run, stomp or walk on his tiptoes. 

He avoided activities that he couldn’t do, which included anything involving using his hands e.g. drawing, cutting, painting, junk modelling, plasticine and clay modelling. He found it impossible to produce an autumn tree picture in which tearing paper with a pincer grip was required. 


His favourite movement play activities are crashing (throwing himself onto the movement mat), running very fast and sliding whilst whooping very loudly.


After five months Developmental Movement Play (and activities to develop fine motor control from the “hands at work and play” programme),  he was able to produce a Chinese dragon picture using the tearing paper technique. He was really proud of himself and even chose to make another picture. 

We so often talk about these things on the DMP course:

  • He chose to run and stomp rather than walk (often a sign that a child is building their proprioceptive sense. that stomping creates lots of information for the proprioceptors

  • He likes crashing, running fast More proprioceptive work, with obvious joy.

  • Sliding whilst whooping When we slide across a floor we learn about stability in motion, an important part of life both physically and emotionally

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