100 Ideas for Teaching Physical Development (100 Ideas for the Early Years)

Author(s) Simon Brownhill
Publisher Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Published 2009
Pages 128
Price £12.99
ISBN 9781847061935
Reviewed by Mrs Margaret Simms
Review published 8 January 2010

A 100 ideas for teaching physical development is aimed at early years practitioners, in all types of settings, who support the physical development of children. It provides a range of off-the-peg activity solutions for encouraging children’s physical development. This book has the potential to challenges ones philosophy towards physical development. It facilitates reflection and enhances personal growth concerning some of the issues related to children’s physical development, such as changing children’s behaviour towards physical activity and healthy development.

A useful List of Abbreviations related to Key Stages and age phases, areas of learning and development and settings precedes the first of 10 sections. Each section comprises, on average, 10 Ideas. Many of these ideas reiterate common conceptions such as the need for physical development and its value in terms of the health, well-being, and confidence of young children. Section 1: Ideas 4-6 identify physical development within the themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Whilst the ordering of some sections is quite logical such as Section 2: Exploring Movement and Space preceding Section 3: Investigating Healthy and Bodily Awareness, the flow of others seemed a little uneasy - and at times illogical. For example, the section on Movements: Development Stages (Section 6) does not appear until after Using Equipment and Materials (Section 4) and Challenges for Physical Development (Section 5). Other readers may fully appreciate the constructed order of the book.

The Idea headings in Section 6 were a little monotonous: Crawling the Crawl, Walking the Walk, Running the Run. Jumping the Jump, Climbing the Climb, Kicking the Kick, Throwing the Throw, Catching the Catch and Striking the Strike. Balancing the Balance pushed this idea to its limit.  

There are some useful ideas amongst the 100 ideas for teaching physical development presented in this book.  One favourite is Idea 61: Various Vocabulary for use in child-initiated or adult-led activities. Perhaps the least favourite is Idea 68: Music and Sound to Support Learning and Teaching. This is a list of music genres, from pop to punk and flamenco to funk, with bracketed warnings in some cases to ‘take care with the lyrics’.

I would recommend A 100 ideas for teaching physical development as a pick [up] and flick [through] resource for students and practitioners who are new to early years and childcare, and others who wish to expand their resource base of practical ideas for supporting the physical development of young children