December focus for learning - The Arts...much more than art!

Being creative is about making new things, taking risks, experimenting, coming up with new ideas, solving problems and coping with uncertainty. Creative play, both indoors and outdoors, not only helps foster these skills but can also assist with emotional development and social interaction. It can promote aesthetic awareness and be an avenue for self-expression.

Young children learn and develop through: • exploring and experimenting in sensory and play-based activities; • expressing their ideas, extending their originality of thought; • sharing art with adults’ that encourage and support their creativity; • exploring natural and man-made materials; • experiment with colour, shape, pattern and texture;

Adults promote learning by: • valuing the children’s natural curiosity and vivid imaginations; • providing opportunities to stimulate creativity; • providing opportunities for children to develop the skill of observation; • teaching children to appreciate their own work; • teaching children to respect the work of others; • helping children to take risks, to have confidence to try things out, and to accept that their ideas may not necessarily work; • celebrating uniqueness of each child’s work; • emphasising the process of creating, rather than the finished product

Music “Music provides children with opportunities to explore feelings and express themselves in ways that support or go beyond verbal communication.” NI Preschool Curricular Guidance Providing musical experiences at home • listen to and join in singing rhymes and songs; • listen to a variety of music; • respond to music by clapping, marching, swaying or nodding; • respond to music by moving expressively, dancing for fun; • listen to and talk about sounds around the home and outside; • make music using everyday objects; • make and use their own musical instruments; • watch music performances online

Drama “Drama allows children to express their feelings and imagination in both verbal and non-verbal ways.” NI Preschool Curricular Guidance Providing drama experiences at home • suggest role-play scenarios like the doctor or dentist or hairdressers… • join in with children in role-play, model how to take on a character; • provide a wide range of dressing-up materials and props; • provide a range of resources including puppets, soft toys and small world toys to create scenarios; • retell stories and encourage the children to tell their own stories; • use your imagination to make up stories and encourage the children to add details to enhance the story and make it relevant to them;

Art Ways to promote art at home: • Provide a creative space that children can return to at different times to complete or alter their work. This could be a desk or easel in their bedroom or a spare room. This could be a box of resources to be kept and used outside in the garden. Set up what works for you. • Make a range of good quality materials, media and tools freely accessible to the children and adding to or changing these over time. Provide them with a box, a drawer or a pencil case for pencils, pens, crayons, a tub for chalk or pastels. • Prepare a paint area for them to mix their own colours, squeeze their own paint and choose different sizes of brushes. Explore colours and textures, for example by mixing paints and with sand, glitter or glue. Paint on different surfaces like card, fabric or wood. Set aside a specific time during your week to paint and create together. • Create pictures by printing using everyday objects, blow / bubble painting, using wax resist or experimenting with shaving foam. • Allow children to choose their own activities and implement their own ideas. Encourage them when they are at a loose end, to access their art materials and create something – some children will need a prompt for example, a bed for a sleepy dinosaur, other children will be able to come up with something you couldn’t even dream of lol! • Provide opportunities to work indoors and outdoors, at times creating ‘temporary pictures’ from loose materials such as stones, sticks, feathers, beads, buttons, shells, cutlery, cups, saucers etc. • Investigate different ways of joining materials, including different sorts of glue, tape and staples, elastic bands and paper clips; • Value the work of the children by displaying it attractively. This could be on the fridge door, in a scrapbook, in a frame or take a photo of their work to keep their art collection in a digital album. Information taken from The Northern Ireland Preschool Curricular Guidance and adapted for our nursery home-school links.

“The Arts” … much more than art! The children need you to provide a wide variety of art experiences; create masterpieces together, model music and drama skills, join in, have fun and be silly.

“The Arts” … making memories together

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