A small focused, indoor space dedicated to Movement Play

Children’s whole-bodied movement play is such an important part of their learning and wellbeing, we need to support it inside, as well as outside in the playground. Embedding an indoor Movement Play Area within your provision gives child-led movement play a strong focus and purpose. It often becomes the busiest learning area in a setting.

This practical course will enable you to:

  • Set up a simple and effective Movement Play Area as a permanent part of your continuous provision

  • Support the movement which children choose for themselves

  • Develop a practice that values child-led, spontaneous movement in a new way and puts a child’s relationship with their body at the heart of development and learning

  • Have a setting-wide focus on sensory, motor, social and emotional development, self regulation and wellbeing

Space to move. Space to be a body.

Each child’s relationship to their body is unique. In the Movement Play Are children move entirely as they choose - none of the movement is determined by adults. They are good at this - revelling in a stream of spontaneous, free flow movement play that is prompted by the signals in their body - how they feel, what they want to learn, what they want to express. It might be solo or social. Full-on and vigorous - testing boundaries. Or subtle and small, seeking comfort.

Extending Practice

A Movement Play Area is more than a space for children; it’s also a way of working for adults. When we engage deeply with movement play, children move for longer and with more focus. The learning is greater; and their wellbeing higher. Simple techniques, developed in partnership with early years practitioners, show you how to organise and run a fabulous new learning area in your setting, or refresh a Movement Play Area you already have.

Hear what people who have a Movement Play Area say

Head Teacher | Grave Owen Nursery | Sheffield

Nancy Farrow

" They wallow in their experience in the Movement Play Area - they really enjoy it. Sometimes they perfect a movement. They practice and practice and practice and practice. No one is telling them do it. They are just driven to do it. So you give them space and time to do it - like you would in any other learning area. “

Nursery Owner and Director | Goosehill Early Excellence | Morpeth

Amanda Willis

"I felt that watching the children move … I wanted the Movement Play Area to be a special place. They really deserved that … Although, one thing I learnt over they years, it’s not just creating an Area, making it beautiful and saying we’ve got a movement area - it’s about the rest of the nursery valuing and supporting children’s movement too. “

Training Individually?

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Training as a team or group?

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Penny Greenland MBE

JABADAO Director | Developmental Movement Play Specialist

Course tutor

Penny is a movement and body specialist, exploring our physical and felt experience across many somatic practices. She’s a thinker, a mover and driven by the goal of developing a learning a culture that supports body and cognitive development equally.  Between 1998 and 2009 she led an in-depth action research project exploring how we support our youngest children’s physicality. Developmental Movement Play was created from this research, which continues to evolve and deepen. Penny loves to share ideas and offer training at all levels.   She is author of Hopping Home Backwards: body intelligence and movement play and a contributor to several early years text books about physical development. 

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • What is a Movement Play Area

  2. 2
    • Size and availability

    • Setting up the area

    • Resources

    • Guidance for children

    • Guidance for practitioners

  3. 3
    • Being a Movement Witness

    • Being a Movement Player

    • It takes a team

    • Safety

    • Playing on the edge

    • Pop up circle time Movement Play Area

  4. 4
    • Sensory

    • Motor

    • Social

    • Emotional

    • Wellbeing

    • Parents as partners

    • Your thoughts

Room Lead | Highfields Nursery

Loron Hurd

“ Since having the DMP areas in our rooms it’s just amazing to see the children that access it and what they’re getting from it. Things that you might otherwise see as chaotic movement - things that their bodies need - you’ll be amazed at what they’re capable of doing if you give them a safe space and support. ”

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