Expressive art and design

Helping children to be creative is as much about encouraging attitudes of curiosity and questioning as about skills or techniques this is why the characteristics of effective learning are so important within the early years foundation stage. Children notice everything and closely observe the most ordinary things that adults may not give their attention to. Building on children’s interests can result in fantastic displays of creativity through storytelling, crafty, collage, painting, drawing, music, dance, role play and other forms of expression. Encouraging children to choose and use materials and resources in an open-ended way helps them to make choices and to have confidence in their own ideas, for example a box may be used as a car in role play. Children who feel listened to and know that their ideas are valued will have much higher levels of self esteem. Just expressing an interest in the process a child has gone through is often enough or asking open questions such as ‘Tell me more– that looks amazing’ will give them the confidence to experiment, share and value their contributions.