Expressive arts and design lesson


Last week we had a lesson from Rebecca Heaton on expressive arts and design in the early years.  We initially discussed what the purpose the expressive arts had to play in the early years.   We all agreed it was important for children to be given the opportunity to experience a range of art. We thought it was important for young children especially to be given the freedom to express themselves through a range of media.

The creative world, be it painting, drawing, model making, music or drama gives children the opportunity to express themselves without the fear of  being wrong.  Not only the arts be a place where a child maybe free to have a go but it also can provide the opportunity for children to express how they feel if they are not able to do so through the use of language.  The creative world of a child may give the opportunity to explore the way in which they view the world and how they feel about it.

We discussed the importance of providing a range of provocations in a setting, from pictures, models, sculptures, music or just a range of resources that may inspire a child.

Our first task of the day was to find objects from around the room and consider if they would be art.  The objects provoked a discussion about modern art and if people viewed it as art or not.  After each member of the group finding an object we then created our own class sculpture and here is what we produced!

After all this discussion it was time for us to have our turn and try out some techniques.  We tried different type of mark making and thought about how important it is to give children opportunity to use a range of media to create their art. We all produced some pictures, based on prompts Rebecca gave us.  It was amazing to see the different interpretations to her prompts.

Another one of the tasks was to think about how something as simply as lines could develop into a piece of art work.  We worked in groups and could pick whatever time of line we wanted and could used anything in the room to create something.  I think most people really enjoyed this exercise and saw how effective the results were.

Here is the working progress.

Our piece was created with swirls using a range of media.  We used paint, string, material, stickers and pipe cleaners.

Here is what we created.

We thought about how this could be used within the Early years and what we may change to make it a successful activity.

Another one of the activities I found especially enjoyable was an active art activity.  We each explored using paint and different objects.  We rolled and bounced the ball across the paper after dipping them in paint.

Here is us all having some fun with the paints and different objects.

and the finished piece!

One of the last tasks of the day was to think of a word and use the environment around us to spell out a word linked to the day.  Myself and Tracy chose to create the word texture.  We found the letters hidden in a range of places


We all gained lots of good ideas and inspiration about what we can do with the expressive arts. Some of the ideas were simple but extremely effective.

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