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

Artworks are a good springboard to talk about animal characteristics and habitats

Expressive arts and design: Flights of fancy

  • Karen Hart, teacher and education writer, London

Karen Hart suggests ways to turn old carboard boxes and paper and card into simple models and artworks which will encourage children to explore ideas to do with flight and weightlessness, developing vocabulary along the way.

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.

Latest Features

Grab a pumpkin and have fun on Halloween!

  • Karen Faux

Discover how this spooky celebration can provide an exciting springboard for children's creative activities, including artworks, story-telling, role-play and lots of fun with friends.

Five great paint activities for children

  • Luca Da Re

Here are five great paint activity ideas you can easily try in your setting. Whether you are looking for ideas to do inside or out, there is something here for you.

Autumn leaves – free and versatile!

Autumn leaves – try these five creative activities!

  • Karen Faux

Autumn leaves are a key sign of the changing seasons and make a colourful, accessible and versatile resource for play and exploration. The beauty of them is that at this time of the year they are available in abundance – and completely free.

Impetus for learning

  • Rose Luckin

If you are a potential entrepreneur with an idea for an early years educational technology product or service we want to hear from you, says Rose Luckin, director of innovation project, EDUCATE.

Enabling learning through a creative use of resource

  • Chloe Webster

High quality provision is not about who has the most money and who can offer the latest technology or equipment and resources, but more about what you offer and the environment in which it is presented.

Study reveals home music impact

  • Franca Tranza

A group of researchers from Middlesex University and Goldsmiths University of London have developed a new tool to assess the influence of the home musical environment in early childhood.

View all Expressive arts and design

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