Role Play

Exploring media




We aim for all children to participate in activities which help them develop their use of media and design and also nurture and encourage their imagination.  We use the following base for our curriculum and plan activities according to your child’s developmental stage and interests.

Expressive Arts and DesignExploring and Using Media Materials

8-20 months +

16-26 months

Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.

Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.

Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.

Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.

Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.


22-36 months Joins in singing favourite songs
Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing
Shows an interest in the way musical instruments sound
Experiments with blocks, colours and marks
30-50 months Enjoys joining in with dancing and ring games
Sings a few familiar songs
Beginning to move rhythmically
Imitates movement in response to music
Taps out simple repeated rhythms
Explores and learns how sounds can be changed
Explores colour and how colours can be changedUnderstands that they can use lines to enclose a space, and then begin to use these shapes to represent objects
Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things
Uses various construction materials
Beginning to construct, stacking blocks vertically and horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces
Joins construction pieces together to build and balance
Realises tools can be used for a purpose
40-60+ months Begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances
Explores the different sounds of instruments
Explores what happens when they mix colours
Experiments to create different textures
Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects
Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect
Constructs with a purposes in mind, using a variety of resources
Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately
Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary
Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using
 Being Imaginative

8-20 months Babies and toddlers need to explore the world and develop a

range of ways to communicate before they can express their

own ideas through arts and design. See Characteristics of

Effective Learning; Communication and Language; Physical

Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development

16-26 months Expresses self through physical action and sound.

• Pretends that one object represents another, especially when

objects have characteristics in common.

22-36 months Beginning to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying ‘That’s me’
Beginning to make-believe by pretending
30-50 months Developing preferences for forms of expression
Uses movement to express feelings
Creates movement in response to music
Sings to self and makes up simple songs
Makes up rhythms
Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there
Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences
Builds stories around toys, e.g. farm animals needing rescued from an armchair ‘cliff’
Uses available resources to create props to support role-play
Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words
40-60+ months Creates simple representations of event, people and objects
Initiates new combinations of movements and gestures in order to express and respond to feelings, ideas and experiences
Chooses particular colours to use for a purpose
Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play
Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme
Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative