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

Up in the clouds

  • Karen Hart

What could be more educational than sitting outdoors on a sunny day and looking up at the clouds? Karen Hart suggests creative activities that encourage children to engage imaginatively with the world.

Red, white and blue...

  • Ailsa Chapman

Ailsa Chapman reflects on a month that saw her class celebrating the Royal Wedding in a way that encompassed many learning areas. Her next challenge is to complete 52 end-of-term reports.

Ready for lift off!

  • Karen Hart

Karen Hart continues her exploration of wings and flight with some creative activities, using natural resources, that will help children to begin to understand the laws of aerodynamics.

Impressions of sunflowers

  • Kim Benham

Kim Benham, senior manager at outstanding nursery Sparkles, in Croydon, begins her new monthly column recommending resources and creative themes.

Whatever the weather we play

  • Sarah Neville

There is one thing you can predict about a British summer, it is completely unpredictable! But as we know, with the right assortment of clothes, we go outside come rain or shine.

Which face will you wear today?

  • Dawn Francis-Pester

Halloween is fast approaching, but children can enjoy masks at any time of year. We suggest spooky and non-spooky options to fuel their imaginations as autumn approaches.

We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

It’s fantastic weather for a party

  • Sarah Neville

As we move into June our planning will take advantage of warmer days and opportunities this affords for being outside more. A teddy bear’s picnic can involve children of all ages.

Latest Features

Up in the clouds

  • Karen Hart

What could be more educational than sitting outdoors on a sunny day and looking up at the clouds? Karen Hart suggests creative activities that encourage children to engage imaginatively with the world.

Red, white and blue...

  • Ailsa Chapman

Ailsa Chapman reflects on a month that saw her class celebrating the Royal Wedding in a way that encompassed many learning areas. Her next challenge is to complete 52 end-of-term reports.

Ready for lift off!

  • Karen Hart

Karen Hart continues her exploration of wings and flight with some creative activities, using natural resources, that will help children to begin to understand the laws of aerodynamics.

Impressions of sunflowers

  • Kim Benham

Kim Benham, senior manager at outstanding nursery Sparkles, in Croydon, begins her new monthly column recommending resources and creative themes.

Whatever the weather we play

  • Sarah Neville

There is one thing you can predict about a British summer, it is completely unpredictable! But as we know, with the right assortment of clothes, we go outside come rain or shine.

Which face will you wear today?

  • Dawn Francis-Pester

Halloween is fast approaching, but children can enjoy masks at any time of year. We suggest spooky and non-spooky options to fuel their imaginations as autumn approaches.

View all Expressive arts and design

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