Expressive arts and design

Expressive arts and design is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to develop a child's imagination, creativity and their ability to use media and materials. Children do this in range of ways including singing songs and making music, dancing, playing with colours, textures and design. All these approaches to expressive arts  help children to represent and understand their own feelings and ideas.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover expressive arts and design to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Expressive arts and design: An autumn glow

Autumn provides a feast for all the senses. Encourage children's sensory exploration of its natural objects with these simple ideas for creative artworks.

Expressive arts and design: Natural rhythm

Use the book Giraffe's Can't Dance to ignite children's interest in the rhythm and sway of dance moves, giving them confidence to lose themselves in the moment.

Expressive arts and design: Get busy!

Days with time spent more indoors than out can be a great opportunity to focus on creative projects that will excite children and give them a real sense of achievement.

Expressive arts and design: In full bloom

Flowers, plants, snails and birds provide inspiration for a range of craft activities, including finger puppets, paper plate bird nest decorations and a crown of leaves.

Expressive art and design: Going in circles

Take inspiration from Kandinsky's abstract paintings to introduce children to a variety of exciting art mediums. Observe how they use different textures, colours and shapes to create their own artworks which have special meaning for them.

Expressive art and design: One from the heart

Karen Hart suggests some Mother's Day card making ideas that involve children making sponge paintings, hand prints and 3D decorations. These are cards which will be treasured for years to come!

Latest Features

Things to do on a rainy afternoon

A rainy day in doors doesn’t have to mean a day stuck in front of the TV or computer. There are lots of activities to keep children occupied – and still learning. Painting, baking, and other arts and crafts are just some of the great ways to boost their creativity. Here are some activities that are perfect for wet weather days.

Join the Big Schools' Birdwatch

The Big Schools’ Birdwatch runs from 6 January – 21 February. It’s an opportunity for children to contribute to the world’s largest wildlife survey, the Big Garden Birdwatch, by spotting and counting birds in the grounds of the setting.

Glorious mud!

Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.

Brilliant ideas for sand play!

Sand is a tactile, sensory and endlessly versatile resource. Try some new ideas for making the most of it in your setting.

Wrap up!

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

Get ready for National Early Years Music Week

More than 12,000 children are already signed up to join in with this inaugural event that will take place from Monday 28 January to Friday 1 February 2019. Nurseries and parents will be sharing the buzz around a host of exciting music activities.

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