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The secrets behind movements and activities that appeal almost universally to young children are revealed by Anne O'Connor and Anna Daly.

Outdoor games are healthy, teach valuable skills, and require only basic resources such as bean bags, hoops and chalk, says Helen Bilton.

Letting children loose on a bunch of planks and swings is not conducive to sound physical development - intelligent guidance and planning are needed, writes Anne O'Connor.

Whether they are fashioned from hedgerows or built for purpose from tents and playhouses, dens should be personal retreats for children and places that inspire their imagination and learning, says Diana Lawton.

Even the younger children can enjoy this chalk and number recognition game explained by Helen Bilton.

Girls consistently achieve better than the boys, but research suggests that the way to male attainment is to send them outdoors, says Sarah Ghahremani.

The experience of moving the body from a prone position is surprisingly important for a child's development, say Anne O'Connor and Anna Daly.

The experience of moving the body from a prone position is surprisingly important for a child's development, say Anne O'Connor and Anna Daly.

In the seventh of the National Strategies features on the EYFS, Gail DuBock and Yvonne Au, Early Years Regional Advisers in the south east, reflect on the centrality of play and exploration in children's learning

Aim: The aim of the game is to attempt any or all of the obstacle course, with or without assistance.