Value Visual Art in Early Years

Exploring through play is a natural part of children’s lives.  It is through this play and the use of the senses – smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing that children are learning about the world around them.  It is through these explorations that children become familiar with and excited about visual art.  Unable to resist a paint pot and dripping brush, always tempted to tip the glue upside-down and to be completely immersed in the various sensory experiences on offer, is a natural way of being for children.   Sensory experiences and visual art are ways through which adults can support and extend children’s learning, encourage them to push the boundaries and nurture new ways of thinking.


Children in most settings are making their own art on a daily basis however, the value placed on this experience is often not the same as in other experiences offered.  Art is often seen as something children do to keep busy, to pass the time of day away, to occupy them, to let them make a mess, let off steam……  It might be all of these things but over and above, it is an important sensory experience for all children from birth onwards and it is an area of learning that links to all other learning in early years and beyond.

Every setting should be a creative and inspiring environment for young children to play and learn.  An environment in which children’s ongoing creative and artistic learning journeys are fully nurtured and supported with thoughtful and creative opportunities and interactions.

  • Do you believe that all children have the potential for great artistic expression?
  • Have you considered how the arts link to all areas of the EYFS?
  • Have you thought about how you play a big part in the artistic lives of children?
  • Adults working with young children have the important responsibility of nurturing creativity and artistic expression, do you do enough? 

“We have to believe more in children, instead of less”   Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Pre-Schools

Baljit Gill

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