Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

The Arts as a Curiosity


Tuesday 28 March 2017

Deirdre Rogers is delivering a Masterclass at our Annual Conference: The Art as Curiosity.

Click to book >>

The Arts are a curiosity and children learn through the Arts. Children have a spontaneous desire to move, experiment and explore. I envy how their imagination allows them to create magical imagery and outrageous ideas, which make perfect sense. Pablo Picasso spent most of his adult life trying to recapture the creative spontaneity he had as a child. Like many artists, he experimented with drawing, paint, light, found objects and other materials as a form of self-expression. Young children learn in a similar way and it is our role as adults to provide them with the materials, environment and time to do so.

I see the senses as the Child's tools for learning. I had a wonderful experience recently through ReCreate’s Sensory Space project where I was privileged to work with some very enthusiastic young children and their educators. Aged between 18 and 24 months, I introduced them to an array of materials that provoked experiences of looking, touching, smelling, tasting as well as movement and interaction. We also used the materials as a starting point of inquiry.


Considerable thought goes into displaying paintings and objects in a gallery, the same respect should always be given to children. I was mindful of how the children could see the materials as they entered the room and moved around the space. Through careful consideration I created four main areas of exploration:
1. A large house structure with doors and windows, a space within their space to hide, interact and role play.
2. Loose parts displayed on a low table in groups of blue, red and yellow.
3. An area with large cardboard tubes and fabric for climbing, rolling and crawling
4. A horizontal and vertical painting area in front of a mirror where they could see their reflections and interactions with their peers. A light box and magnifying glass was placed at the end of the paper for them to look closely at objects and explore colour and shape.


The children explored every area of the room, driving investigation, returning again and again to an area of interest. By following their lead, at their pace, the session took the whole morning. We were there to assist and only engaged if invited to do so, allowing time for observation and reflection on the activities and processes the children were developing. We held back the paint for the area in front of a mirror until last, so as not to overload their senses all at once. Using paint blocks and spray bottles the children quickly lost interest in painting on the floor and moved to the mirror, covering it completely, letting it dry and rediscovering their faces by wiping the paint away again, all through their own direction and discovery!

Physicist and science writer David Peat said the creative adult ‘allows the child the security and solitude in which to explore the universe in a creative way’. By giving the children time to make their own meaningful connections and decisions while exploring and experimenting, leads to many possibilities that could be developed further by the educators over a longer period.


While reading ‘Creative Arts for Early Childhood’ by Sinead E. Kelly I came across the SPICE framework, developed by F. Brown. Promoting creativity, this framework encourages the development of a safe, non-threatening environment where children feel secure enough to make friends, play and learn. It goes on to explain that the following reflections help understand the framework better. I feel that when planning a space, the materials and activities this is a wonderful place to start:

S – How do you want social interactions to happen within the space?
P- What will be physically around the child in the environment?
I- What types of intellectual stimulation with be available for the child in that environment?
C- How will creativity be actively encouraged in the environment?
E- How are the child’s emotional needs met?

When combined with Fun, Freedom and Flexibility children can develop in a space that encourages their creativity, supports their well-being and allows them to make connections to their world in a holistic and playful way.


Further reading suggestions:
Brooks M. (2009)‘Making Meaning in Constructing Multimodal Perspectives of Language, Literacy and Learning through Arts-based Early Childhood Education’

Eisner E. (2002) Introduction in ‘The Arts and the creation of the Mind’, Yale University Press/New Haven & London

Tutchell S. (2014) ‘Young Children as Artists – Art & Design in the Early Years and Key Stage 1’, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group


Deirdre Rogers is an artist, designer and educator. Her involvement in teaching programmes over the last 15 years has strengthened her interest in integrating creativity in all learning environments and assisting parents and teachers in developing the skills and confidence to engage in artistically rich experiences with their children. As Art Director for ReCreate, Deirdre is instrumental in facilitating quality creative projects with schools, early years and community groups nationwide. Having completed a Certificate in the Principals of Art Therapy she has a greater understanding of the healing capabilities of creative art practice, encouraging engagement of all ages and capabilities through the visual arts and creative reuse of materials.

ReCreate is a social enterprise who makes art materials and educational supplies affordable and accessible to every sector of the community. From their Warehouse Of Wonders (WOW) in Dublin they salvage clean, unwanted materials from over 220 businesses across the country making them available to its members for all kinds of creative purposes. The concept is known as Creative Reuse and through their workshops that encourage young and old to reuse materials that would normally be thrown away; they inspire curiosity and inventiveness while also caring for the environment.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Leprechauns(1) Academic Skills(1) UN(1) Reggio(1) Traffic Lights(1) curriculum(7) routine(2) Shoes(1) partnership(1) Self-Esteem(1) Motor neuron disease(1) educating(1) Sustainable(1) Creative(1) Exploratory Play(1) National Awards 2018(2) early childhood(1) risky play(2) Early Years Educators(3) National Research Conference 2019(1) inspiring interactions(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Workforce(1) trust(4) New Appointments(1) Wrapping paper(1) Sculptures(1) Trick or treat(1) quarantine kids(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) educarer(1) Online(1) INTO(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) quarantine(2) pablo(1) Map(1) play(37) National Holiday(1) Cognitive development(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Challenges(1) preschools(1) multi-generational community(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) outdoor environment(1) Laugh(1) behavioural science(1) dining(1) bonds(1) Women(1) Malaguzzi(1) Exit interview(1) Mathematicians(1) collaboration(1) Builders(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Jenga(1) Sustainability(3) Fantasy play(1) San Miniato(4) Kindness(1) SAC(1) Sessional service(1) Reggio Emilia(2) DCYA(6) Rituals(1) Limerick(1) Celebrate(1) CCTV(1) healthy eating policies(1) International Narratives(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) World Health Organisation(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Identity and Belonging(4) National Pyjama Day(1) Trigonometry(1) code of ethics(1) feisty(1) Family(1) Awards Night(1) dining experiences(1) peer group(1) phone apps(1) Penguins(1) social media(2) coronavirus(1) learners(1) listen(1) Childcare(3) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Kids Own(1) emotions(2) Anthony Semann(1) University(1) ECEC(4) Buddies(1) Routines(2) Irish(1) risk assessment(1) National Awards 2019(1) Engagement(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Independence(1) Trade Unions(1) play stories(2) Dance(1) planning(1) Children's Research Network(2) education(2) animals(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) relationships(18) Whole Group(1) Window(1) Well-Being(10) gender bias(1) science(3) early years learning(1) blog(56) books(5) communication(4) Inspections(1) Giraffe(2) respect(5) Change(1) Treasure Chest(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) Loss(1) Children and families(2) Intention(1) Positivity(1) Communications(1) Arts(1) continual professional development(1) Exclusion(1) Trade union(1) Investment(2) Policy(2) School Age Childcare(2) Super Shed Stories(2) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Child Care(1) Empathy(1) Horizon 2020(1) Communicating(1) risk(2) Opportunities(1) overhear(1) ReCreate(2) Large Doll Play(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Identity(5) CPD(1) aistear blog(3) parents(7) Croatia(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) supportive environments(2) reading(6) budget(1) Obesity(1) HR(1) Pre-School Services(1) Degree(1) Primary School(3) conversations(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Children's Book Club(1) outdoors(4) Shapes(2) Universal Design(2) Maths(6) social media policy(1) show and tell(1) journey(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Workplace well-being(1) curiosity(3) Creativity(7) First 5 strategy(1) Human Resources(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Regulation 23(1) under 3's(3) Nuturing interactions(1) built environments(1) Proceedings Journal(1) Care routines(1) upskilling(1) child safeguarding(1) Titles(1) natural environment(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Thank you(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) family time(1) eating(1) Technology(3) Tuscan Approach(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Queues(1) Autism(4) Leadership(1) dogs(1) Study Trip(1) Your place(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Budget 2020(1) Favouritism(1) Italy(1) Laughter(1) learning(19) Confidence(1) Painting(1) early years settings(1) Scents(1) Self Help Skills(1) presentation skills(1) Role play(1) Santa(2) Light table(1) education system(1) Iceland(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Storytelling(8) Hand Hygiene(2) Winter(1) child-centred approach(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Awards(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) role playing(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) STEM(3) Confident(1) Rich Documentation(1) early year’s classrooms(1) Scéalta Blog(106) Funding(1) Our Little Seed(1) Fabric(1) Bereavement(2) Wonder(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) experience(1) Adoption(1) Equality(1) Grief(1) Infection Control(1) Relaxation(1) Reading Time(2) Exploring(1) Photographs(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Advocacy(1) learning bias(1) Participation(2) TUSLA(1) art of the relationship(1) Capable(1) Training(3) UK(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Performance Management(1) an post(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Document Learning(1) baby room(1) Consent(1) Maria Montessori(1) Skillnet(1) Awards 2019(1) DES Inspection(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Childhood(2) Spiders(1) Inspirational(2) Glitter(2) Time(1) Love(3) mushrooms(1) Running(1) Snack Time(1) scientific and artistic processes(1) Counting(1) Nonverbal(1) MECPI(1) Craft(1) story time(2) refugees(1) Impact(1) value(1) Administrative Burden(1) Treasure(1) keezy(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Games(2) Ceremony(1) food(1) Community involvement(1) Kilkenny(1) Siolta blog(8) Competent(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) christmas(9) stories(3) ECEC Setting(2) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Snacks(1) Mud kitchens(1) Mental Health(4) Japan(1) Environment(2) United Nations(1) Potential(1) COVID(3) Early Learning and Care(2) children’s learning(1) Pretend Play(1) Staff Motivation(1) Mixed age groups(3) movement behaviours(1) Elders(1) Event Guide(1) Children's Rights(3) Liz Kerrins(1) Irish guidelines(1) mental health problems(1) gender stereotype(1) science week(2) Interaction(1) Fire Safety(1) Budget 2019(2) play pods(2) Summer(2) Learning journals(1) Design(1) Playdough(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) ears(1) keep in touch(1) Masterclass(2) Aistear(132) Sleep(1) Margy Whalley(1) worldbookday(1) Music(3) partnership with families(1) Line-ups(1) Mindfulness(3) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Maternity Leave(1) Engineering(3) responsive relationships(1) children development(1) Prexit(1) Reopening Childcare(1) European Project(1) Body Language(1) Albert Einstein(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Magic(1) women in research(1) Behaviour(3) Touch(1) Unesco(1) democratic citizens(1) UNCRC(2) Norway(2) AsIAm(2) COVID-19(18) Recycle(1) Book Club(2) Celebrations(4) interacting(2) Blocks(1) Recycling(2) Mark Twain(1) homeschool(1) Sweets(1) Death(2) Seanchaí(1) MA(1) Facebook(1) Playschool(1) Seas Suas(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Online Research Symposium(3) Afghanistan(1) Feeding(1) preschool settings(1) development(9) Digital Devices(1) learning hub(2) Growing up in Ireland(3) Meal time(1) Orla Kenny(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Children(8) Health(2) NAEYC(1) Art(6) Performing(1) Exercise(1) child led(1) Learning Story(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Infectious diseases(1) ICBN(1) youdoodle(1) dublin(2) primary education(1) ECIAwards20(1) memories(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) man up(1) GDPR(1) developing motor skills(1) Xbox(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Building Resilience(1) Looking Forward(1) social science(1) child-centric(1) Visual Impairment(1) Mantra(1) Looking Back(1) pets(1) Lego(2) Nordic model(1) EECERA(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Magda Gerber(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) iOS(1) Support(1) Imagination(3) Wesco(1) E.coli(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Culture(2) playleader(1) meals(3) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Workplace Relations(3) emotional well-being(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Plastic(1) Loving Relationships(2) Mount Everest(1) Maynooth(1) Yoga(1) structure(1) EECERA 2016(1) Child mental health(1) Cork(1) Brain(1) Arithmetic(1) maternity health(1) RIE philosphy(1) toddlers(3) Leargas(1) Party(1) Iraq(1) Sequins(1) Small World Play(1) bloom app(1) early childhood educator(2) PIP(1) Employee(1) annual awards(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Traditions(2) College(1) Socioemotional development(1) Digital(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Thanks(1) Weather(1) STEAM(1) Interactions(3) Learning Stories(9) Reflective Practice(1) online training(1) Magnavacchi(1) community(5) outdoor space(3) Vertical grouping(1) Smiles(1) transitions(10) Easter(1) Awards 2018(3) Diversity(1) Family wall(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) AIM(2) Pedagogical leaders(1) EM Standing(1) reopening(1) TRAP(1) Appreciation(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) imotion(1) Vietnam(1) Return to Work Training(1) Mo Scéal(1) Social Skills(1) UNICEF report(1) listening(1) Supernanny(1) CIT(1) UK Government(1) purpose(1) guardian(1) Snakes(1) Upcycling(1) Wilenski(1) Fee Play(1) Valentine's Day(3) Annual Conference 2017(2) Graduation(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Visitors(1) documentation(4) Children's Voice(1) Gardening(1) Decision Making(1) Mealtimes(1) World book day(1) Youtube Series(1) Educators(2) The Jelly King(1) Names(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Care-giving routines(1) Self-regulation(1) ELC(1) Research Seminar(1) emotional environment(2) conference(1) Europe(1) Teamwork(1) Pen green(1) Twitter(1) Montessori(3) Síolta QAP(1) Thinking(1) RTE Investigates(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Gratitude(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Oireachtas(1) First 5(1) Time Out(1) timekeeping skills(1) reopening ireland(1) NCCA(4) lockdown(1) Affordability(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Book Review(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Early Childhood Education(1) apps for children(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Certificate(1) IGL(1) research(8) Pobal(1) Learning Stories Award(3) ECCE(7) Interests(1) Pedagogy(2) Halloween(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) preschool(4) QRF(1) Quality(4) outdoor play(7) awards 2020(1) Plants(1) SPICE Framework(1) Graduate(1) creche(1) Early Years Education(1) childcare services(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Academics(1) Professionalisation(5) research submissions(1) Return to Work(1) Belonging(3) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Kerry(1) scéalta(58) Early Years(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) linc(1) democracy(1) Buddy Bench(1) Leaders in Practice(1) staying connected(1) Inter-generational(2) Learning Journal(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Budget 2018(1) Maynooth University(2) Little Buddies(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) babies(7) Syria(1) Frustrations(1) Covid pandemic(3) Settling in(4) Meet the Members(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) TOY Programme(1) Engineers Week(2) St. Patrick's Day(1) early years research(3) Nutrition(1) Sport(1) annual conference(1) Mayo(1) racism(1) Arlene Forster(1) Síolta(139) Breathing(2) early life(1) grandchild(1) ERASMUS+(3) Through the looking glass(1) Biting(1) Wendy Lee(4) Qualifications(1) Anxiety(2) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Stress(2) Eritrea(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) friendships(1) life long learning(1) Covid response(2) june29(1) play pod(1) environments(1) Decisions(1) Growing up Outdoors(2) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Flowers(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Home Corner(1) worries(1) Drawing(2) play therapy(1) Maths Week(1) Patterns(1) Inclusion(3) Story(2) UD(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine