Staff will promote physical development of all children, including participation of children with disabilities.


  1. Review children’s physical development in Creative Curriculum including chapters related to Outdoors and Music and Movement.
  2. Provide sufficient time (30-60 minutes) and space indoors and outdoors for active play and large motor development such as jumping, running, balancing, climbing, and riding tricycles (unstructured moderate to vigorous physical activity or MVPA).
  3. Teachers will use the Fine and Gross Motor skills section of their assessment tool to guide their planning of motor development for their class and individual children.
    1. Teachers will plan for 20 minutes for Part Day and 30 minutes for Full Day of structured accumulated moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at least twice a week.
    2. Provide sufficient quantity and variety of equipment and materials to meet needs.
  4. Provide sufficient quantity and variety of equipment and materials to meet needs.
  5. Provide adult guidance and support.
  6. Provide creative movement and activities using obstacle course or activity songs, records, and tapes.
  7. Provide fine-motor activities such as stacking, stringing beads, pegboards, puzzles, lacing cards, woodworking.
  8. Assist in planning and accessing appropriate activities and skill development, teachers will have access to the following resources:
    1. SPARK Early Childhood
    2. I’m Moving, I’m Learning (IMIL)
    3. Handwriting Without Tears
  9. Integrate development of social goals by including non-competitive large and small group games in your plans.
  10. Follow “Planning for Outdoor Play” guidelines.

Planning for Outdoor Play

Your outdoor area should offer a balance of activities to support child development across the four domains: social, emotional, physical, and cognitive. All equipment must meet safety standards. (see Playground Safety policy)Your play area should meet the following general criteria as much as possible:

  1. The area has some natural materials (wood climber, garden, stones, trees, bushes, grass, wood chips).
  2. The area has a variety of activity choices (children can ride, construct, swing, hammer, climb, read, pour, dig, kick, throw, pretend, paint, balance, cooperate, play games).
  3. There are grassy, open areas.
  4. There is a smooth surface for equipment with wheels.
  5. There are private places where children can play quietly alone or with one or two others.
  6. There is a storage area large enough to hold equipment and toys.
  7. There are play opportunities for children of differing abilities.
  8. There is enough room for children to move freely without getting in other people’s way.
  9. There are different levels (small hills, ramps, flat areas, climbers with platforms at different heights).
  10. There are a variety of hard and soft textures and surfaces (grass, sand, paved areas, wood chips).
  11. There are sunny and shady areas.
  12. One shady area includes a place – like a table – for eating and activities such as drawing or doing a puzzle.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45CFR Section 1304.21(a)(5) .
It was approved by Policy Council on April 8, 1997.
Updated July 7, 1999. November 15, 2000. June 2008. November 2010. August 2013
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