Expressive Arts and Design
Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
This area supports children’s curiosity and play. They explore and share their thinking, ideas and feelings in music, in art, movement and dance, role play and technology. To give children the best opportunities through Positive Relationships children value their own unique ideas and those of others rather than reproducing those of someone else. Enabling Environments are stimulating and originality and expressiveness are valued. Learning and Development experiences allow children to express themselves through various types of representation.
EAD is made up of these aspects:
- Exploring and Using Media and Materials
- Being Imaginative
This area of learning and development is about how children sing songs, make music and dance, and try different ways and materials when they experiment with colour, design, texture, shape and form. Helping your child to explore different media and materials There are lots of easy ways you can help your child to explore and use different media and materials.
You could use the ideas below as starting points to help you do this.
Two- to three-year-olds
● Sing songs with your child indoors and out of doors. Being out of doors sometimes means you can sing more loudly! Try ‘The sun has got his hat on’, ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’, or ‘The wheels on the bus’.
● You can also have fun using action songs with your two- and three-year-old as they really enjoy repetition. Good action songs include ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’, ‘I’m a little teapot’ and ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.’
● Why not make instruments to accompany your singing – make a drum from a pan and wooden spoon, shakers from empty plastic containers filled with dried peas or beans, cymbals from pan lids and a microphone from rolled up paper or the tube from inside a kitchen roll.
● Make streamers from strips of plastic or paper, tie them to a stick or clothes peg and watch what happens when you run or dance with them out of doors.
● Your child will have fun ‘painting’ with water out of doors on a wall or fence using real decorators’ paint brushes.
● Provide your child with crayons, paints or chalks to create pictures and patterns. Remember how important it is to value the finished pictures as your child’s work of art.
● Children need to acquire some skills to fully explore the different ways of exploring different media and materials. Help them to practise tearing, cutting, sticking, threading, and weaving using scraps of paper, fabrics, wools and ribbons.
Four- to five-year-olds
● Four- and five-year-olds love using paint in different ways. Try making prints using cut up potatoes and carrots or use cotton reels, large buttons or pebbles and shells.
● Try making collage pictures with scraps of paper, fabric, wool, sequins, buttons, and natural materials such as leaves and grasses.
● Use playdough or clay as a base to make 3D models with twigs, shells, stones or nuts and bolts.
● Some children, often boys, prefer to use fine pencil to make detailed technical drawings. Encourage them to draw items you have in the kitchen such as forks, spoons or a hand held whisk. They may also like to draw the detail of flowers and plants from the garden.
● Children of four and five become very involved in role play and enjoy dressing up. They don’t need expensive readymade dressing up costumes; hats, scarves, bags, simple cloaks, and masks provide hours of fun.
● Building a den is a great way of children learning how to design and build on a large scale out of doors. Large cardboard boxes are great for this.
● When you are painting, sewing, or making or mending things around the house, show your child how to use the tools and equipment safely.