Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, EAD is broken down into two aspects:
+ Exploring and Using Media and Materials
+ Being Imaginative
Exploring and Using Media and Materials
This is about how children experiment with media and materials finding out about their properties and modifying and manipulating them. It includes exploring sounds, patterns, movement and different tools and techniques.
This is about children’s explorations into the world of pretence, building on their experiences of the real world and transforming them into something new – whether through role play, music, pretend play, block play or small world play or a range of other areas.
Helping children to be creative is as much about encouraging attitudes of curiosity and questioning as about skills or techniques. Children notice everything and closely observe the most ordinary things that adults often take for granted. Building on children’s interests can lead to them creating amazing inventions or making marks on paper that represent for them an experience or something they have seen. Encouraging children to choose and use materials and resources in an open-ended way helps them to make choices and to have confidence in their own ideas. Retaining childhood confidence in their ideas and skills can easily be lost if others ‘take over’ and try to suggest what the child is making, thinking or doing. Just expressing an interest in the process a child has gone through is often enough or asking open questions such as ‘Can you tell me about it – that looks interesting’ may be all that is required to help a child hold on to their remarkable creativity.