Active Play Policy

Giving children the freedom to explore.

Our Active Play Policy includes messy play, the outdoors, risky play and our take on screen time.

Sunflower recognizes the importance of physical activity for young children. The purpose of our Active Play policy is to ensure that children in our care are supported and encouraged to engage in active play, develop fundamental motor skills and have limited screen time.

Our school offers all children age and stage appropriate opportunities to access safe environments for active play both indoors and outdoors. In order to promote physical wellbeing, we offer opportunites in the following ways:

  • Encourage a minimally restrictive yet safe environment indoors and outdoors.
  • Provide a designated outdoor space that is safe and accessible for at least 20 minutes per day in each session.
  • Provide provocations for movement in our large gym space indoors.

The role of our Teachers is to encourage children to be physically active and explore the world along with them, including the natural world.

NOTE: If you feel your child is too sick to go outside, then they should not attend school that day. We request that your child stay home until they are well enough to be outdoors. When the cold weather arrives, boots and warm coats, gloves and hats will be required for our outdoor time. For each child, we will keep a clear ziplock bag with a change of clothes in case of accidents or spills. Please label your child’s items clearly, and check in regularly to ensure they still fit.

Clothing & Messy Play

Often learning can involve mess, and trial & error! We offer time for exploration, discovery and fun as a part of the learning process. Children are offered opportunities to explore different materials in their own way. We do what we can to keep unnecessary mess to a minimum, however please ensure children’s clothing allows for a worry free experience whilst at school.

Risky Play

Play that contains an element of risk is crucial to learning in the Early Years. We work with The 6 Categories of Risky Play; Great Heights; Rapid Speeds; Dangerous Tools; Rough & Tumble; Disappearing/Getting Lost; and Dangerous Elements (as per the research of Ellen Sandseter). Each child determines their own level of ‘riskiness’ and benefits include a positive self-concept, ability to take on challenges and problem solve, creativity and risk assessment skills. We allow children to test their risk boundaries and develop their risk assessment skills, which means sometimes they will get a little bump, scratch, bruise or exciting story!

Screen Time Limitations

Sunflower has a limited screen time policy in place. We have a School Ipad that all of the classes share, and is only used briefly as an extension of children’s learning. Any technology is closely supervised at all times by the Teachers, and is adult led. We understand that technology can be an excellent learning tool, but that it should be used in a careful and considered way in a school setting, particularly with children within this age group.

What it means

Active play facts


minutes outside improves children’s concentration


builds confidence and encourages problem solving


is a part of the learning process, and a part of childhood


can be a good tool to enhance learning if it’s used carefully