From making spoon puppets to playing archaeologists … new NDNA publication to inspire creative activity in nurseries in 2017

A new publication from NDNA is packed with practical ideas for art, music, drama and role play from painting with mud to creating a make-believe Chinese restaurant.

Your essential guide to The Art of Expression and Creativity is now available at and its creators believe it will be an excellent resource for varied and vibrant activities in nurseries in 2017.

The book brings together a plethora of easy-to-organise making activities from chocolate play dough to wooden spoon puppets to musical instruments and guides for acting out life at an airport, builder’s yard, archaeologists’ dig and many other scenarios.

Learning and development benefits are explained at every stage and all suggestions are in line with UK early years curricula and exemplary nursery practice.

Jo Baranek, NDNA’s Lead Early Years Adviser who wrote the publication with input from fellow experts all over the country, said: “We want to set new standards and to really help managers and practitioners to facilitate fresh and exciting things to do, every working day, for under fives.

“I’ve looked at the whole range of the arts – music, singing, art, drama, dance, role play and self-expression – and included child-led activities, indoors and outdoors, for each of these areas. 

“I wanted to show that you don’t have to think of yourself as a ‘creative’ person to be able to support children’s skills and knowledge. 

“Young children are so curious and love to learn new things – these activities allow them the time, space and resources to really explore.”

Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s Director of Quality and Workforce Development, said: “We developed the publication as our members constantly tell us they want a comprehensive resource to help them with ways to plan for their creative, inquisitive children.

“The Art of Expression and Creativity emphasises the process, not the end product, and includes opportunities to work outdoors. Boys in particular often prefer to be outside, engaged in large-scale art projects, using their whole bodies, and this too is covered.”

The Art of Expression and Creativity costs £17 for NDNA members and £22 for non-members, from