Expressive arts and design

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.

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.

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!

Maths: Tying the knot

Furoshiki is an environmentally friendly, Japanese technique for wrapping gifts which will give children the opportunity to test their creative skills and learn about why conventional wrapping paper is bad for the planet.

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.

Expressive art and design: Tokens of friendship

Both girls and boys will enjoy making friendship bracelets, using their imaginations to create their own unique designs and deciding which friends and family to gift them to. Observe how they persevere and are proud of what they have made.

Expressive art and design: Raise your voice

Children's musical experience begins very early in their life, from hearing their mother's singing in the womb to spontaneous singing as they play. This is the first in a series of articles providing practical inspiration to develop their musicality.

Parent: Drawing and painting

Drawing chalk pictures on the ground, painting fences with water and even leaving smudged fingerprints on the wall are all examples of children experimenting with mark making. Find out how you can encourage them to push their skills further.

Expressive Art and Design: ‘A spider on my knee!’

Autumn brings plenty of inspiration for artworks – from the appearance of many spiders to the vibrant patterns that feature in Diwali celebrations. Karen Hart explores how you can mark these seasonal changes and festivities in your setting.

EAD: Seed of an idea

Take a closer look at natural plant forms and use these shapes and properties to create pictures and sculptures. As children experiment with art techniques they will also be learning about the natural world.

EAD: The line of beauty

Natural objects provide a variety of fascinating shapes, which can be the starting point for creating artworks. Describing shapes and experimenting with new vocabulary become a part of the process.

Buttercups and daisies

Wild flowers such as daisies, buttercups and dandelions may be considered weeds but they have a special place in childhood and provide a great resource for Expressive Arts and Design projects.

On a fairy tale adventure

Embark on an exciting learning journey inspired by The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Encourage children to enact the story's physical challenges and create their own follow-on narrative and characters.

Catch a star in your net

Nets are a cheap, readily available, versatile resource. Use them to make dens, catch carboard stars and all sorts of other objects. Talk about how they keep us safe and have fun crawling beneath them.

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.

Expressive arts and design: The perfect mix

Used together, sand and water play provide children with many exciting opportunities for creativity. Children engage all their senses as they explore textures, changing colours and shifting patterns.

Slime, glorious slime

It's easy to understand why slime has become such a popular resource with children in the last couple of years. Squishy, stretchy, jiggly or like putty, it's fascinating to manipulate, deeply mysterious and curiously addictive!

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