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Expressive Arts & Design


Creating with Materials:

  • Mix two colours together and find out what happens 
  • Try different ways to join materials when making junk models
  • Make marks with a variety of materials such as paint, chalk, mud! 
  • Combine different materials to add texture and create different effects. 


Being Imaginative and Expressive: 

  • Encourage role play games and dressing up 
  • Set up a stage and put on a show
  • Set up a story scene using toys or small word and ask the children to tell a story using the resources set out
  • Use boxes or house hold objects and turn them into props for your story, e.g. a box for a boat, a colander for a space helmet, pans for a drum set
  • Play instruments and explore how to change the sounds,  e.g. make it louder or quieter
  • Sing different songs and nursery rhymes


Activities to do indoors 

  • Make a simple model- Collect as many different types of wrappers and empty packaging/cartons, tubes and boxes – make a 3D model fixing the materials together with glue or sellotape. Decorate your model with empty sweet/ chocolate /food wrappers; wool/ string, etc. Write a sentence about your model, or instructions on how to make it.
  • Collect as many different types of bottle tops as you can – milk bottle, yoghurt pots, jam jar tops – different colours and sizes. Find a strong piece of cardboard and create a pattern or a picture using the bottle tops. Take a photo and send to your teacher.
  • Collect items with hole, e.g. cardboard tubes, buttons, dried pasta tubes, beads or as a treat – hula hoops, jelly rings or Cheerio’s. Find some string or wool and thread the items to make a snake, a necklace, a worm or make up your own creature. Can you make up a pattern?
  • Make a colour shade chart mixing white or black with the colour to make it lighter or darker. Make a colour shade chart or a colour wheel with your favourite colours....this could be the colours of a rainbow.
  • Mix paint with different materials to explore and then paint a picture – shaving foam, or sand. Paint with cotton buds on foil, paint on textured wall paper or bubble wrap, paint by blowing through straws or add spices /coffee to paint to make a ‘smelly’ picture.
  • Printing – find objects (round objects such as tubes, bottle tops,), materials (bubble wrap, wool, scrunched up foil) and pieces of cardboard- different sizes – use the edges to make patterns. N.B small pieces of thick cardboard can be used as a palette for paint which can then be thrown away when finished with.
  • Collect props from around the house and make a dressing up box– key, hat, stick, glasses, large boots, scarf. With a sibling or parent play ‘let’s imagine’ – pretend to be a different person, using different voices, or make up a story using the objects, e.g. ‘Once upon a time there was a little old man who lived on his own in the deep dark forest. On his head he wore a green fluffy hat and on his feet he wore big black boots. In his house he had a magic key.....’can you finish the story or make up your own?
  • Using construction toys and small animals/people, make a setting such as a farm, a house, a park, a dinosaur world. Make up and act out a story using the play toys, e.g. ‘the day the pig escaped from the farm....’ What happened next?
  • Find a piece of music or your favourite song....make up a dance/actions and perform it for your family.

Activities to do outdoors 

  • Collect lots of boxes of different sizes and a couple of big boxes if possible. Collect other resources and materials such as foil, paper, wrappers, empty plastic cartons/pots, glue stick/sellotape, etc. Think of what the big box could be made into – a space rocket, a house or caravan, a car or truck, or even maybe a dinosaur. With help from an adult cut parts of the box if needed to make your model. Decorate with other junk that has been collected and/or paint /pencils /chalks or crayons. Take a photo to send to school.
  • Using chalks draw pictures on the floor or walls outside or if available rolls of old wallpaper – use the end of the chalk, the side of the chalk to make patterns and shapes.
  • On your daily walk collect leaves /twigs/small stones, (N.B. consider how and where these items can be collected safely). When back at home make a simple collage picture by laying them out flat on a piece of paper / on the grass or on the flags/patio area. What can you create – an animal, a scene, a vehicle, you or your family. Make it as small or as big as you can. Take a photo and send to school.
  • Using natural materials– twigs, leaves, small stones, shells – make a small house or den outside for a small toy – dinosaur, hedgehog, fairy – make sure it is somewhere safe so it can’t be squashed or blown away. Make up a story about your outdoor toy house.... ‘The dinosaur tea party’, ‘The dog who was feeling sad....’
  • On your walk each day or outside your house make a sound diary – make a list each day of all the sounds you can hear for a few minutes or on your walk – traffic, people, cars, emergency vehicles, birds, water, etc. How many different sounds did you hear in a week? Can you make the sounds you heard? Can your family guess the sound you are making?
  • Make a stage outside, find some props or dressing up clothes and act out a favourite story or make up your own performance /show. Make tickets and invite your family to watch the show.


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