Creative Arts in the Early Years

Art is more than just painting or drawing.

Rather, what we want to talk about today is creative arts! Creative arts involve music, dance, drama, media arts, and storytelling. It is important for children to have opportunities in these subject areas both separately and interchangeably. Through art, children create meaning, hence why there are many forms of creative arts opposed to printed art.

When we use the word CREATIVE, we want you to think through your imagination. That’s how we portray it in regard to children’s learning. Creative arts engage children’s imagination in a vast variety of ways. It is open-ended which allows children to learn through a product-driven style of learning in their own time.

Benefits to Child Development

The benefits children receive from engaging in creative arts is far beyond what you can imagine. Targeting all developmental domains through the key areas outlined.

Developmental Subsequent Development
  • Cooperative play, Solitary play & Parallel play
  • Resilience & persistence
  • Self-expressions & emotional regulation
  • Understanding of inclusion & exclusion
  • Cultural awareness & cultural competence
  • Fine & Gross motor
  • Balance & coordination
  • Fundamental movement skills
  • Complex movement skills
  • Creativity & imagination
  • Representation & memory recall
  • Expressive & Receptive
  • Oral & written


Creative arts holistically contribute to the three core elements of the Early Years Learning Framework; Being, Belonging and Becoming. Creative arts encourage children to explore who they are, where they belong and who they want to be (DEWWR, 2009).

Creative Arts within Thrive Early Learning Centres

Aligning with Thrive’s philosophical beliefs from theorist Lev Vygotsky, creative arts play enables children to learn new things through play in social settings, using their current cultural understanding to recognise what they presently know and using the perspectives of others to build on their perceptions. These social interactions are core to children’s cognitive progression, as children engage in what is known as ‘peer scaffolding’. Peer scaffolding occurs regularly within our Thrive services, using creative arts children are encouraged to express and convey their ideas and views, allowing others to build on their existing knowledge base (Raban & Nolan, 2015).

For example, if a child knows the dance moves to a particular song, a secondary child can watch and/or listen to their instruction to learn the moves also. This is consistent across all the art forms.

To ensure our curriculum reflects a dynamic array of creative arts, when we evaluate and plan our weekly curriculum we ensure each discipline within the arts is included in the curriculum ensuring it is child-focused.

Recently, our Thrive children have shown a big interest in

-Dress up play

-Shop dramatic play

-Musical instruments

-Ribbon dancing

-Cultural music dance and song

-Photography – we call this ‘through the eyes of the child’

-Puppet play


Chen, S. (2016) The Importance of Creative Arts in Early Childhood Education.

Dinham, J., & Chalk, B. (2017). It’s arts play : Young children belonging, being and

becoming through the arts. Oxford University Press.

DEWWR. (2009). BELONGING, BEING & BECOMING The Early Years Learning

Framework for Australia.


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