Expressive Arts & Design

Expressive arts and design for Toddlers

Helping children to be creative is as much about encouraging attitudes of curiosity and questioning as about skills or techniques. Children notice everything and closely observe the most ordinary things that adults often take for granted. Building on children’s interests can lead to them creating amazing inventions or making marks on paper that represent for them an experience or something they have seen. 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. Retaining childhood confidence in their ideas and skills can easily be lost if others ‘take over’ and try to suggest what the child is making, thinking or doing. Just expressing an interest in the process a child has gone through is often enough or asking open questions such as ‘Can you tell me about it – that looks interesting’ may be all that is required to help a child hold on to their remarkable creativity.

EAD is broken down into two aspects:

  • Exploring and Using Media and Materials
  • Being Imaginative

Exploring and Using Media and Materials

This area develops children’s singing and encourages them to join in with favourite songs whether it be with actions or with words. Children start to use different movements including banging or blowing to create sounds, by experimenting children are able to identify and recognise different sounds and their properties. More than this children begin to develop a curiosity in musical instruments and the sound they make, children enjoy making loud and quiet noises as well as listening carefully to the individual noise each different instrument makes. Using different medias such as paints, blocks, sand and water, children are able to experiment with colour mixing, the different marks each media makes and building simple structures.

Being Imaginative

This aspect develops children’s imaginations and how they begin to pretend when playing. This begins when children use objects that have similar characteristics to another object for a particular purpose. Children are able to draw from their experiences and use it when interacting and communicating with others during role play. Being imaginative also includes children developing an image of themselves, for example drawing a picture and saying it’s them.

At Toybox we play music encouraging children to listen and dance at every opportunity. Practitioners encourage children to move depending on how they feel. Children are encouraged to mix different medias to see the effect it has and to change the experience they will gain from it. Practitioners observe and take part in pretend play with the children to share their own experiences encouraging children to do the same. Children are also encouraged to talk about their interests and present this through pretend play. Practitioners use different pitch and tones when speaking to children in pretend play or when reading stories to show children the fun in pretending. Children are equipped with dressing up so they can partake in role play of their interests such as fireman, building or shopping.

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