Expressive Arts and Design

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By Karen Hart

I have found the following activities to be good ways of encouraging imaginative play – all tried and tested and all designed to cover the ‘A Unique Child’ aspect of ‘Expressive Arts and Design: Being Imaginative’.


  1. Paint splat aliens
  2. Salad-spinner monsters
  3. Make a fairy garden
  4. Create a role-play vets surgery
  5. Music for imagination
  6. Make a playdough bakery

Paint splat aliens

Let imaginations run wild – anything goes with these spiky creatures.

Paint splat aliens

You will need:
  • Paper
  • Liquid paint in squirty bottles – nice and watery
  • Drinking straws
  • Googly eyes
  • Felt tipped pens
  • Glitter, sequins etc. (optional)

Paint splat alien

  • Squirt a small blob of paint onto your paper (try using two or more colours if you want to extend the activity) and use a drinking straw to blow the paint into an interesting shape. Pour any excess water away and leave to dry.
  • Turn your blobs into imaginative space creatures by adding extra bits and pieces like googly eyes, sequins and glitter or drawing on mouths, antennae etc.

Paint splat aliens

  • Show children how aspects of the pattern lend themselves to interesting features. For example, we made a bowler hat from a little blob on one alien and red spiky hair from a red patch on another.
  • For a really eye-catching effect, cut the aliens out and mount them on coloured card.

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Salad-spinner monsters

Children always love to use some form of contraption during a craft project, and this salad-spinner monster activity is a great way of bringing something a bit different into a craft session. You can usually pick salad spinners up for very little expense, and of course, you can use them over and over again.

Salad spinner monster

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