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Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

I have been stumbling across some pretty awesome ideas for your Early Years classrooms. I thought it would be great to bring these ideas together and collectively share them all with you. Whether you run your own daycare, work in a school setting or if you have young children at home - this collection of amazing ideas will no doubt inspire you to bring even more fun and adventure to your settings. Today we are looking at the Creative Area. 

How is your creative area set up? Can children easily access materials and do you offer lots of choice? Children should have the opportunity to select as much as possible within the early years setting. There are so many ways to explore being creative that no two weeks need to be the same!

You may be horrified at the thought of children helping themselves to materials. Worried about all the mess that may unfold - with careful guidance on how to help children manage this area they will soon get the hang of looking after and respecting this area.

Allowing children the freedom of choice will allow their creativity to blossom.
Here are some fabulous ways on how to organise, plan and offer a range of ideas to the children:

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Have a stack of templates already cut out of cardboard that children can access to select their own colours. Use sauce bottles so the flow of paint isn't too fast for them like in the photo above. Children can be encourages to explore colour mixing on their pallets and make new shades! The great idea about this is they are easily transportable so why not look at taking them outdoors too? You could attach paper to the fences, to trees and allow children the freedom to create on a variety of different canvas'. 
Why not ask the children where they enjoy painting the most? Perhaps this information would be something you could build upon in the future? Don't be put off by the weather either! 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Offer children the opportunity to paint nature, whether that is twigs, branches, seashells or pebbles. You could collect materials together on a Nature walk, or why not set it as a challenge for children to do with their families at home? They could bring materials into the setting to paint alongside their peers. It would encourage children to have some outdoor time with their families and I'm sure many will enjoy being involved in what their children are busy doing during the day. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

How often do you allow children the freedom to take their mark making outdoors? Many settings do offer a free flow between indoors and out these days - which is fantastic for the children. Why not put together a cart that can be wheeled in and out freely throughout the day? It would help with organisation too.

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Allow children to mix paint colours to make new shades. Store them in sealed pots to avoid them drying up and grab the labels. Let children name their own paint colours. 
* I do realise that these jars in particular are made of glass (recycled baby food jars). Some people may choose to use a plastic alternative, which may be wise if your children are younger.
Using glass in a setting with children who are slightly older would give a perfect opportunity to discuss danger and allow them to risk take with caution. Children should always be carefully monitored and observed when using anything new. You know your children and your settings and know which materials would work best for you.

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

As I mentioned above choice is key for all aged children. Think about yourself. If you were constantly told your using this, this and this and today we're making this - it wouldn't be long before you felt uninspired. Allow children to select what they would like to use and give them the freedom to make whatever that would like. Giving children this opportunity allows them to explore and develop the skills they have. 
Think about reviewing your creative station and see if children are drawn to the area? Do children like to help themselves? Ikea offer some fabulous storage solutions. 
This would also teach children about looking after their setting, putting resources back and respecting that everything has it's own place during tidy up time. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

How do the children see themselves? This activity would tie in great with the about me topic or simply just because. My 4 year old loves looking in the mirror! I love the idea of having some portraits pinned around the sides of the mirror too! Some children will paint portraits some children will decide to paint something completely different and may enjoy using the mirror to watch themselves at work. Don't plug any requirements for this activity and see what the children come up with. 
You may want to look at offering children the chance to paint onto the mirror. I would highly recommend Paint Sticks from Little Brian Art. They are brilliant to use on a range of surfaces, giving vibrant colours that wipe off easily. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Use muslin cloths, sheets or easel paper to create outdoors. I love how they have used a cable reel as the table. Larger scale art allows for gross motor movements and more room to paint alongside and with their peers.

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Painting on ice is an interesting experiment. Children can watch as the ice begins to melt and explore how the paints transfer. You could also give children the opportunity to paint using ice using Ice Paints you can easily make yourself!

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

You may want to create a display for parents to show just how much children learn from getting messy. We love this display created by Pauline. It gives such an insight to how valuable creative, messy play really is!

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

I LOVE this idea! I shared it on my Facebook page not too long ago and had a huge response from hundreds of people who loved the idea too. I did have a few comments about the charts giving children the answers. I personally would be tempted to leave the equals part blank so they could discover independantly what two colours make up a new colour however - the charts are really handy for allowing children the opportunity to read and follow visual instructions.

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Take a look around your classroom and see what materials would make interesting patterns. Choose items that wont ruin if they get covered in paint. A great opportunity to explore mark making! Why not look at adding trains and cars to see the tracks they leave as they are dragged through the colourful paint? 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Displaying children's artwork is really important for boosting their confidence. Do you invite parents in to see their children's masterpieces on display? I love nothing more than seeing what my child has been busy doing. I adore how proud she gets when pointing out her work too!
Do you offer an area where children can select which of their artwork gets pinned up? Just as the display above shows - there is an opportunity for children to open up a peg and clip up their work.

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Offer an opportunity to explore shades. This is a beautiful invitation to explore graduating shades of blue to create ombré art. I love how a book has also been made available in this area. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Create photos of your children where they have to complete the portrait by mirroring the opposite side. I love that this is a different approach on the traditional way of drawing self portraits. Usually this is done by studying your reflection in a mirror. This could be an extension to your portrait drawing. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

This is an incredible simple and very effective way at allowing children to access the tapes you have in your classroom. My daughter who is 4 is obsessed with the stuff and insisted to add it to lots of her artwork. It gives children the freedom of choice and allowing them to access tape independently. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Use paint chip cards for your local DIY stores to help colour co-ordinate your mark making materials.

We could go on all day. There are some amazing ideas out there! We will continue to share these inspirational set ups across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest - so be sure to follow along so you don't miss out!

Next up we will be looking at Cable Reels and how you can use them for indoor and outdoor learning in your settings. 

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

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