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Three on a bike

Three toddlers are playing in the nursery garden on a bicycle made for three. They take turns at pushing and pulling their friends.

Good for looking at

  • Co-operating
  • Social development
  • Physical development
  • Outdoors play


  • What cues can you see that show what the children are interested in and how are they communicating with each other? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • In what ways do the adults support the children’s learning?
  • How does the environment support the children’s learning?


What are your thoughts about:

  • How the children communicated and co-operated with each other?
  • These children’s level of social development?
  • The role of the adult in this interaction – how did she support the children?
  • The value of this type of social and physical play for the children?
  • How you make observations where there is no verbal language from the children?


What would you do to:

  • Support such young children to co-operate with each other?
  • Encourage children to try out new ways of doing things and persevere with a task?
  • Extend the children’s learning – e.g. supporting them to take turns and encouraging their physical play together?
  • Model behaviours for young children – e.g. showing how you learn a new skill and share and co-operate with others.

What next:

  • Do you need to encourage more of this kind of physical outdoor play and learning for the toddlers in your setting?
  • Do you allow enough freedom for the children to take risks, make mistakes and learn from them?