AccessArt & EYFS: Exploring Art in Early Years Settings

To accompany the recently launched AccessArt Primary Art Curriculum, we are pleased to share resources for use in EYFS and SEND settings. 

The resources in this section are grouped around 7 areas of exploration:

  • What Can We See?

  • How Can We Explore Colour?

  • How Can We Build Worlds?

  • How Can We Explore Materials & Marks?

  • How Can We Explore 3d Materials?

  • How Can We Use Our Bodies To Make Art?

  • How Can We Use Our Imaginations?

Within each area we have provided activities which enable an open-ended, playful exploration of materials, processes and ideas, which in turn nurture dexterity skills, promote an early understanding of visual literacy skills, and begin to build the childs confidence in their ability to make a personal, creative response to a stimuli. 

Together these opportunities provide a foundation for pupils to develop skills further through the AccessArt Primary Art Curriculum. 


Plasticine Feature on a Potato by Rachel Thompson

EYFS & SEND: Resources & skills Editable document

The 7 Areas of Exploration

What Can We See?

Enabling children to look is an essential foundation skill. Through looking we nurture curiosity, build knowledge, and make the world our own.

Looking provides us with an opportunity for active exploration. Empowered by close looking, we can build confidence in our ability to make a creative response, developing dexterity skills along the way.

Find resources to promote looking here.

How Can We Explore Colour?

Exploring colour gives us a great opportunity to interact with the world through our senses. 

In addition to develop our early knowledge of colour and colour mixing, we can also approach colour in an intuitive way, enjoying and exploring the way colour makes us feel

Find resources to enable an exploration of colour here.

How Can We Build Worlds?

Manipulating the materials of the world and transforming them into something new is an empowering process.

Imagination is the stimulus for much making, and through enabling children to build and expand the worlds around them, we empower children to affect their own environments for the better. 

Find resources to enable making here.

How Can We Explore Materials & Marks?

We don’t just have to paint on paper – the world is full of textures and materials which we can use as surfaces for artwork! 

How can we transform the surfaces around us by using line, colour and shape, and how can we make the objects we decorate reflect our personality? 

Resources in this section encourage EYFS and SEND learners to be open and inventive about the surfaces on which they make art. 

How Can We Explore 3D Materials?

The world is full of materials, waiting to be transformed by our hands, hearts and heads. 

Giving children plenty of opportunity to explore materials through free exploration, ungoverned by our expectations of “outcome”, is vital if we are to help build experience of what it is possible to create.  

The resources in this section help enable an open-ended exploration of materials whilst developing dexterity and imagination skills. 

How Can We use Our Bodies To make Art?

We often assume we make art using our hands and eyes, but we can use all our senses to inform our exploration.

Resources in this section encourage pupils to explore how they can engage with the world and explore materials through their bodies and their senses. 

How Can We Use our Imaginations?

Most very young children find it easy to use their imagination to help invent a world around them.

Through art we can encourage children to nurture their imaginations, building confidence in their instinct, intuition, sense of self and ability, to give an outward form to inner ideas. 

The resources in this section help nurture and celebrate imagination.

Explore our Primary Art Curriculum (yrs 1 to 6) We are excited to be able to share with you our new curriculum, consisting of 36 pathways for Years 1 to 6, designed to inspire and enable high quality visual arts teaching and learning in primary schools.

A special thank you to Scola and Daler Rowney for their support.

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