Expressive arts and design
The new EAD Early Learning Goals invite practitioners to optimise children's creativity through oral, aural, cultural and aesthetic expression – thereby enhancing their holistic well-being.
As a performance storyteller for children of all ages, Craig Jenkins had to shift his performances online when coronavirus struck. He tells Karen Hart how these sessions swiftly sold out and how this has fuelled his plans for the future.
Be inspired by Mondrian to create simple, stunning artworks which involve children working in small groups and having fun collaborating. Help two-year-olds to get involved too.
Take a look at this month’s practical supplement which has a wealth of seasonal ideas to support children’s learning through play. Use our expert pointers on the Characteristics of Effective Leaning to create meaningful observations and enhance your knowledge of each individual child.
Channel children's fascination with imaginary creatures such as dragons, unicorns and mermaids into creating characterful artworks, including finger puppets and 2D artworks that they will be proud of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following a difficult childhood medical experience, Karen Karana Tse decided to dedicate her life to music. Eventually, she set up the String & Keyboard Musik programme, a captivating method of introducing music to children. She is now bringing the programme to the UK, where it is poised to meet a growing demand for music provision in early years.