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Visual arts in ECE

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Topic summary


An introduction to the visual arts in early childhood education

What the research says about the visual arts and how they contribute to children’s learning and development, as well as some practical tips to help teachers and children express themselves through the visual arts.

What role should teachers take in children’s visual arts experiences?

How teachers can actively support children’s sustained engagement with complex creative arts.

Supporting children’s thinking and cognition through the visual arts

How the visual arts support children’s cognitive development.

Progression and skill development in the visual arts

An overview of the research on how children’s artistic skills and ability develop over time


Practical ideas for enhancing visual arts in your centre

Dr Sarah Probine (Manukau Institute of Technology) and Jacqui Lees (of Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten) discuss how rich visual arts practices can be developed through collaboration and creativity

Designing play spaces for children using contemporary art

Dr. Louisa Penfold discusses why materials and aesthetics are important in children’s learning, and offers strategies for designing play spaces based on contemporary art practices.

"Early childhood perspectives are often overlooked in educational resource provision – it's fantastic to have our own information, which will help us cater for very young learners."

Gemma B, pre-school educator


Visual Arts in ECE course

  • If you're enrolled in our new Visual Arts in ECE course, you can access it here.
  • Or enquire about joining the course in May 2022.


Key ideas for enhancing visual arts practice in your ECE setting

Practical ideas from our webinar on the visual arts in ECE with Dr Sarah Probine and Jacqui Lees.

Key ideas for designing play spaces for children using contemporary art

Ideas from Dr. Louisa Penfold's webinar about how teachers can plan a material-based play space and scaffold children’s creative learning.



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