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does anyone know of any good books with genuinely open ended creative ideas in? I am really struggling to think of enough ideas for our learning environment (continuous provision). I looked under 'snow and ice' on this forum but a lot of it was quite template based which I don't feel would be that desirable in terms of what the children learn from it.


We have done wintery pictures with 'cold' colours at the end of last term which was lovely.


I continually struggle to persuade my colleagues not to keep suggesting things like:


a thumbprint mouse where the children draw eyes, whiskers etc on in felt pen


a model of a snowman made out of ....


The adults always end up intervening too much because if you start with something that specific in mind it's difficult to 'let' them go in their own direction, well that's what my staff find anyway.


What do you all think? What sort of things do you offer?





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I really like the "Baby and Beyond" books (a featherstone publictaion). there is a series of them and I've got The Natural World - progression in play for babies and children.


Last year I gathered a big box of wintry collage materials - twigs, silver glitter, foil shreds,

old christmas cards, cotton wool - very young children freely explored the materials, some sticking them onto card but others just exploring. The older ones could design their own pictures

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I think enhancing CP with lost of wintry things in different areas, looking at and feeling the frost, ice etc. listening and moving to music, learning some songs or rhymes on the theme, stimulates the children to experiment for themselves. Could they have lots of wintry coloured paints and large pieces of paper to use in response to some wintry music? The children could add other materials to this as and when they wished. I totally agree with you about the template business. There are times when you can use observation and illustrations to stimulate children to try out ideas for themselves. I am attaching a medium term plan for YR children which has some ideas you could use, although I liked to use Raymond Briggs as my 'artist' I don't think that would be so suitable with younger children.

Winter_Medium_Term.doc (but you may have seen this in the resource section already.)

As far as picture making is concerned I think providing lots of shiny, glittery, silver and white materials of all kinds as an enhancement in your creative area, gives children an opportunity to express themselves in their own way. You could also add lots of different shaped ice, and glittery white and silver things to shallow trays, also pebbles and/or other natural items, and observe the children playing with them. If you encouraged them to make pictures with these they could take photographs to record their creations. If they are outside in the snow making snowmen you could take photos of these as they are their own creations, or they could be given objects to make relief patterns in the snow.

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