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Exploring paint

A group of two year olds are sat around a table filled with offcuts of wood, bowls of paint and various brushes. During this child led, parallel play, sensory play session, we observe how one child explores the materials in front of her. The practitioners are close by observing the session.

Good for looking at:

  • Sensory play
  • Parallel play
  • Messy play
  • Fine motor skills
  • Creativity
  • Materials
  • Observation


  • What cues can you see that show what the children are interested in? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning?
  • Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • In what ways does the adult support the children’s learning?
  • How do the materials support the children’s learning?