Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Christmas Creativity: Doing it their way


Tuesday 06 December 2016

This time of year is magical! Yes, it’s chaotic, noisy, messy, fun, exhilarating…and really, we wouldn’t want it any other way! Between Santa, Christmas Crackers, holly, ivy, snowpeople…there is so much scope for children’s imaginations to have free rein…so much for them to talk about, think about, explore and discover.

But, when I see a line of identical Christmas trees, or pictures of holly, or shapes stuck on a page all in the same positions, clearly adult led, it is evident that this hasn’t really been carried out by the children, with them as willing participants, enjoying and exploring. When we really look at this kind of art, we don’t see anything of the child’s own creativity and ideas, their thoughts and individuality.

Shapes on a Page - Christmas Creativity: Doing it their way Rows of Christmas Tree Cutouts on Card - Christmas Creativity: Doing it their way

On the other hand, when I see, as I did this morning, children painting pine cones, leaves, cardboard tubes, clay angels and timber trees, chatting, laughing, being really creative and imaginative…then it’s wonderful. And bringing the magnifying glass to see things up close and talk and think more….that’s magic!

Childrens Christmas Crafts - Christmas Creativity: Doing it their way Magnifying Glass - Christmas Creativity: Doing it their way

The Victoria and Albert Museum says:

Creativity is the ability to challenge, question and explore. It involves taking risks, playing with ideas, keeping an open mind and making connections where none are obvious.

This is what all template based art lacks…playing with ideas, making connections where none are obvious, challenging, questioning and exploring!


Some children may enjoy some colouring in…occasionally, but very few children truly enjoy sticking a shape, be it Santa, a leaf or a circle on to a page in a position decided by an adult!


Supporting children to explore their creativity requires us to let go of our adult notions of what a Christmas tree looks like, or how a cow or a cat or a car are drawn. We have to realise that, faced with a blank canvas, what a child chooses to put on that page or sheet of card or piece of wood or pine cone is their imagination, their thoughts, their ideas. And we may not recognise it as anything…they may not intend it to be anything specific either: And that is great!


Sometimes we might feel that parents expect the perfect product, but in reality, parents want to see their child having fun, being themselves and being creative. They realise that the so called cookie cutter crafts are planned, created and carried out by adults. And, let’s face it…cutting out all those Christmas trees or Santa hats or whatever is boring, time-consuming and hard on the fingers!


So this Christmas share with us how you encourage children to play with ideas, to explore and get lost in the wonder of paint, glue, glitter, touch, feel, mixing, smelling and being creative!


We would love to hear about the materials your children can explore, what ideas they create and how their real creativity is fostered and supported, indoors and outdoors!

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Anne Curran says:

    Really liked this article Maire am going to show it to our CE worker Helio from Spain,who is like our artist in residence,Anne Curran

  2. Maire Corbett says:

    Hi Anne, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love to see children having the opportunity to explore and enjoy all kinds of materials, in their own way! If you have photos you’d like to share, we would love to see them!

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Socioemotional development(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Exploring(1) Nonverbal(1) Book Review(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Plastic(1) Interactions(2) DES Inspection(1) Belonging(3) Learning Journal(1) Funding(1) Inter-generational(2) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) bonds(1) European Project(1) Snacks(1) linc(1) education(2) Settling in(4) Deirdre Rogers(1) science week(2) ECEC(2) Syria(1) Document Learning(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Snakes(1) Sustainability(3) Identity and Belonging(4) curriculum(5) Visitors(1) experience(1) Flowers(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Care routines(1) Albert Einstein(1) Human Resources(1) emotional environment(1) Celebrate(1) Mo Scéal(1) CIT(1) Budget 2020(1) Gardening(1) Awards Night(1) NAEYC(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) CCTV(1) Learning Story(1) Shoes(1) Maynooth(1) Body Language(1) Support(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Montessori(3) HR(1) ERASMUS+(3) dining(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Recycle(1) Xbox(1) Change(1) Engineering(3) Time(1) ReCreate(2) Buddies(1) Social Skills(1) UD(1) Maths Week(1) Smiles(1) Children's Rights(3) Affordability(1) Builders(1) ICBN(1) Graduation(1) friendships(1) Educators(2) Research and Professional Learning(1) Recycling(2) collaboration(1) Anxiety(2) Mantra(1) Arlene Forster(1) Autism(3) outdoors(3) Educator of the Year Award(3) Sustainable(1) Gratitude(1) GDPR(1) Arts(1) Thanks(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Kilkenny(1) First 5 strategy(1) Communications(1) Graduate(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) blog(28) play(32) Performance Management(1) Aistear(114) community(5) Stress(2) trust(3) Childhood(1) Teamwork(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) stories(2) Infectious diseases(1) School Age Childcare(1) National Holiday(1) feisty(1) meals(3) Well-Being(9) Decision Making(1) Challenges(1) research(6) Valentine's Day(3) Pobal sector profile(1) early childhood educator(1) Rituals(1) Fantasy play(1) code of professional responsibility(1) research submissions(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Intention(1) Trade union(1) INTO(1) educating(1) Routines(1) parents(6) National Awards 2019(1) Oireachtas(1) Bereavement(2) Mealtimes(1) story time(2) Inclusion(3) Meet the Members(1) awards 2020(1) Consent(1) UNCRC(1) Digital(1) Creative(1) Laughter(1) Magda Gerber(1) Iceland(1) Inspections(1) Halloween(2) Art(6) Emergent Curriculum(1) scéalta(29) Leargas(1) Easter(1) Obesity(1) interacting(2) Giraffe(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Mark Twain(1) Family(1) Orla Kenny(1) Positivity(1) child-centred approach(1) memories(1) Culture(2) Inspirational(2) Penguins(1) Santa(2) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Yoga(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Through the looking glass(1) Mathematicians(1) Employee(1) Window(1) Glitter(2) Horizon 2020(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Training(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) overhear(1) Line-ups(1) Feeding(1) Laugh(1) Empathy(1) Care-giving routines(1) outdoor space(3) Breathing(2) mushrooms(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Early Years Educators(3) toddlers(3) Irish(1) CPD(1) Workplace well-being(1) Mindfulness(2) Leprechauns(1) Margy Whalley(1) PIP(1) Seas Suas(1) pets(1) Craft(1) dogs(1) Playdough(1) Awards 2019(1) Scéalta Blog(93) outdoor play(6) Pen green(1) Sequins(1) Qualifications(1) Administrative Burden(1) listening(1) Facebook(1) Buddy Bench(1) preschool settings(1) code of ethics(1) Snack Time(1) Scents(1) Our Little Seed(1) Capable(1) Malaguzzi(1) Names(1) Nutrition(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) budget(1) grandchild(1) reading(5) respect(5) Titles(1) AsIAm(1) Quality(4) Favouritism(1) Child mental health(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Online(1) communication(4) Map(1) Afghanistan(1) Independence(1) Magic(1) Shapes(1) Running(1) conversations(1) EM Standing(1) Patterns(1) early years research(2) Sleep(1) journey(1) Lego(2) Blocks(1) Children's Voice(1) Elders(1) Japan(1) Appreciation(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Cork(1) Participation(2) Potential(1) ears(1) preschool(3) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Twitter(1) Wilenski(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) dining experiences(1) Workplace Relations(3) Reggio Emilia(1) United Nations(1) purpose(1) Engagement(1) Learning journals(1) Children and families(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Hand Hygiene(1) Love(2) Children(3) Maternity Leave(1) Trade Unions(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Whole Group(1) role playing(1) value(1) Self Help Skills(1) Creativity(4) TOY Programme(1) Treasure(1) Mud kitchens(1) risky play(2) Siolta blog(5) Iraq(1) Workforce(1) Storytelling(4) Awards(2) Reflective Practice(1) social media(1) Research Seminar(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Adoption(1) under 3's(3) Study Trip(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) AIM(2) Meal time(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) learning(19) Confidence(1) Fabric(1) Digital Devices(1) Relaxation(1) Traffic Lights(1) Mayo(1) TRAP(1) aistear blog(2) Sweets(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Plants(1) Touch(1) RTE Investigates(1) Brain(1) emotions(2) Technology(3) Vertical grouping(1) documentation(3) Confident(1) Photographs(1) Frustrations(1) relationships(17) Music(3) Impact(1) Traditions(2) Engineering Ireland(1) Supernanny(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Professionalisation(4) Universal Design(2) Valerie Gaynor(1) Weather(1) Jenga(1) Early Years(1) Mental Health(3) University(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Wrapping paper(1) Building Resilience(1) IGL(1) Prexit(1) Winter(1) Inter-generational learning(2) supportive environments(2) Community involvement(1) MECPI(1) Budget 2018(1) Event Guide(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Primary School(2) Celebrations(4) Síolta QAP(1) Academics(1) Self-regulation(1) Magnavacchi(1) Maths(5) New Appointments(1) educarer(1) Health(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Trick or treat(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Wonder(1) Degree(1) Interaction(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) eating(1) Visual Impairment(1) Behaviour(3) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) food(1) Awards 2018(3) Family wall(1) maternity health(1) Summer(1) EECERA 2016(1) Budget 2019(2) Children's Research Network(1) Grief(1) UN(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Trigonometry(1) Dance(1) Wendy Lee(3) Childcare(2) animals(2) Exclusion(1) ECCE(7) curiosity(3) Inspired Practice Awards(1) babies(7) Imagination(3) Mixed age groups(2) Síolta(108) Painting(1) Italy(1) Cognitive development(1) Light table(1) College(1) Performing(1) The Jelly King(1) environments(1) risk(2) The Lullaby Book(1) Home Corner(1) Research Conference 2019(1) planning(1) E.coli(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Environment(2) Exercise(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) RIE philosphy(1) San Miniato(4) play stories(1) Early Learning and Care(1) DCYA(4) Eritrea(1) transitions(10) Biting(1) First 5(1) Nuturing interactions(1) christmas(9) refugees(1) Advocacy(1) Queues(1) Investment(2) Reggio(1) Infection Control(1) Communicating(1) Maria Montessori(1) Maynooth University(1) Loss(1) Design(1) Decisions(1) National Awards 2018(2) baby room(1) Self-Esteem(1) Wesco(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Exit interview(1) risk assessment(1) Role play(1) science(3) Book Club(2) Vietnam(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) SPICE Framework(1) Certificate(1) Policy(2) Competent(1) Norway(2) Playschool(1) STEM(3) Arithmetic(1) development(8) Department of Education and Skills(1) Learning Stories(9) Ceremony(1) Pobal(1) Mount Everest(1) Kerry(1) Kids Own(1) Limerick(1) MA(1) Time Out(1) routine(2) Party(1) Diversity(1) Upcycling(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Leaders in Practice(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Death(2) Masterclass(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) books(4) Games(1) Sessional service(1) ECEC Setting(1) Sport(1) Rich Documentation(1) Staff Motivation(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Thinking(1) Thank you(1) Engineers Week(2) dublin(2) Story(1) worries(1) Interests(1) Drawing(2) Little Buddies(1) Spiders(1) listen(1) Leadership(1) Academic Skills(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Treasure Chest(1) Fee Play(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Identity(5) life long learning(1) Sculptures(1) NCCA(3)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine