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Extraordinary Humans: A creative approach to art in early years

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August Blog 2023: Art in the Early Years

August 5, 2023

Art in the early years

Children creating art

There are so many ways to explore art with your children. They need to explore different materials and tools, experimenting with colour and design.

Remember it is always about the process and not about the product.

Support their thinking in what they are going to make.

Show them techniques, e.g., how to stop the paint dripping on their brush, or how to join things or mix colours.

Art resources


Storage is always an issue, sort and keep tins or baskets for equipment. Only keep good quality resources, making sure they are regularly replenished. It is great if you have the space to leave models where they can be returned to and developed.


  • Textures: Keep unusual materials that will inspire exploration, such as raffia, string, bubble wrap, cellophane, brown paper, tracing paper, and newspaper.


  • Quality craft and collage materials: junk boxes for modelling, wool, tissue paper, tubes, and pipe cleaners.


  • Natural materials: leaves, sticks, feathers, sand, mud, and pebbles.


  • Brushes, crayons, chalk, and markers. Don’t forget to include different sizes.


  • Clay, dough, and modelling material. Children will have fun using their hands, or using rolling pins, cutters, beads etc.


  • Paint and paint materials: a variety of paints with sponges, paint pots.


  • Glue, tape, and adhesives. Add hole punches and treasury tags.


  • Paper and scissors. Stimulate children’s senses by giving them the chance to use different textures to cut: string, leaves, paper, and cereal boxes.
  • Inks and ink pads. Children love these especially if they have made their own ink.



Children as artists

It is never about control.

All kinds of materials are used by children to show what they have noticed about their world.

What conditions do children need to become artists?

  • Being out in all weathers.
  • Dancing and singing in the rain, tasting rain drops.
  • Collecting leaves, playing with mud.
  • Listening to music.
  • Going to the beach.
  • Making a campfire.
  • Smelling plants.
  • Lying looking at the sky.
  • Listening to sounds.

Using all their senses – touching, smelling, listening, hearing, and seeing.

Painting our banner together