Sport Through Stories: Meet Tree Top Toddlers


With changes to the Ofsted Inspection Criteria in September 2019, there's even greater pressure on early years settings to provide a broad curriculum. Tree Top Toddlers can help settings stay ahead of the game by combining age-appropriate activity with stories and songs that capture the imagination.

The programme launched at the Nursery World Show in 2019 and is a concept born from children’s love of storytime. The Sport Through Stories books are designed to be read and enjoyed but with core sporting actions at the heart of the experience. The stories will capture children’s imagination as well as taking them on a journey through the year, building physical and social attributes that will be transferable to any sport as they grow older.

Schools and nurseries have expressed their love for the product and have seen it is a cost-effective way to bring more sport into their setting. Many schools are accustomed to hiring outside companies and individuals to lead sessions, with the Tree Top Toddlers licence nursery staff gain training to run the lessons. The lessons can therefore be run as often as they like.

Get 20% off Tree Top Toddlers' award-winning sports programme at the Nursery World Show!
Book in a 15-minute meeting with Managing Director James to find out how easy introducing fun, engaging activity into your setting can be. Just email to find out more!

The company was created by three brothers, all experienced tennis coaches, who saw the huge importance and lifestyle benefits of starting children playing sport as early as possible. James, Alex and JJ use a series of stories, as a platform to engage and teach children the fundamental sporting actions they will need for a healthy lifestyle as they grow older.

‘Today nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. Reducing obesity levels will save lives as obesity doubles the risk of dying prematurely.’* With terrifying statistics such as these, they turned their attention to developing a sports programme through stories, introducing children to the main character Alfie, who they help in each story on his adventure. The premise of each story is that the nursery staff lead the children through the adventure and on every page there are sporting actions that will be needed to help Alfie in his adventure. With over forty years coaching experience gained within the tennis and sports industry, their dream has become a reality and the passion that has gone into creating the Tree Top Toddlers programme will lead to children having a healthier lifestyle as they grow older.

Tree Top Toddlers boasts huge benefits through integrating their programme into nurseries and up to year 1 in Primary Schools. The Tree Top Toddlers programme has been engineered with the key objective to help achieve higher Ofsted and EYFS ratings. The foundation of the programme is built upon helping:
  • Physical and Cognitive Development,
  • Bilateral Coordination,
  • Colours,
  • Numbers,
  • Literacy,
  • Spatial Awareness,
  • Hand and Foot-eye Coordination,
  • Social Skills,
  • Teamwork,
  • Confidence and Self Esteem,
  • Problem Solving.
With changes to the Ofsted Inspection Criteria in September 2019, there is an even greater emphasis on how children are taught and the breadth of curriculum offered by nursery settings and other educational establishments. Ofsted are looking for children to demonstrate highly developed problem-solving skills, and to be exposed to vocabulary rich environments in order to springboard their passion for reading. Research shows that young children need significant participation in gross motor physical activity within their daily routine before they can concentrate on focused tasks such as pre-reading skills and problem-solving. Tree Top Toddlers provides an excellent combination of age-appropriate physical activities combined with stories and songs that will capture the children’s imagination and interest and is the perfect programme to help settings ensure they are ahead of the game.

Children learn best when they are having fun and children between 2 - 6 years old have the most fun during storytime. The programme has been credited for its simplicity with each lesson lasting 45 minutes; the lessons are easy to set up and run. There are complete lessons plans for every session with progressions. The staff do not need to be ex-Olympic athletes or even have a sporting background, all of the training is included. This gives the nursery team ownership over the 2-year programme for them to deliver the programme for their children’s individual needs.

Please click on this link below and scroll down to watch the promotion video to give a greater understanding of the Tree Top Toddlers programme.
* Reference:
* Health and Social Care Information Centre (2015) Health Survey for England 2014
* A child’s BMI is based on ‘weight for height’ defined as weight in kilograms divided by the height in metres squared (kg/m2). To take into account growth patterns by age and gender, a children’s BMI is compared with BMI centiles on published growth charts. Children with a BMI above the 98th centile are considered clinically obese. For population monitoring those above the 95th centile are classed as obese.