1st Edition

Creativity and Wellbeing in the Early Years Practical Ideas and Activities for Young Children

By Sonia Mainstone-Cotton Copyright 2023
    158 Pages 2 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    158 Pages 2 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    This accessible and practical guide explores how we can enhance and embed creativity in the early years to support children’s wellbeing. The book initially explores the work of Anna Craft, Ken Robinson, and Reggio Emilia to think about creativity with young children, before considering what this means for wellbeing. Five core chapters focus on creative mediums – drawing, sculpting and painting; craft; music; dance and drama; and storytelling and poetry – and offer a range of practical ideas and activities to use and adapt.

    This book provides:

    • A wide range of activities accompanied by examples of collaborative arts projects with children.
    • Interviews with artists and practitioners who support children’s wellbeing using creative mediums.
    • Recommendations for creative activities using accessible and everyday materials.
    • Case studies showing the positive impact of creativity, from developing children’s cultural understanding to soothing and supporting children with sensory experiences.
    • Suggestions for enthusing children with a love of words, enabling them to express their thoughts and feelings through creative language.
    • Moments for reflection to encourage readers to pause and consider the impact of creativity on their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of children in their care.

    With ideas included that every practitioner can use in their setting, this book is an essential tool for early years professionals who want to build their confidence in using creativity in their practice whilst supporting children’s wellbeing.


    Chapter one - Creativity in the early years

    Chapter two - Wellbeing and creativity

    Chapter three - Art

    Chapter four - Craft

    Chapter five - Music and dance

    Chapter six - Drama and imaginative play

    Chapter seven - Word, story telling and poetry



    Sonia Mainstone-Cotton is a freelance nurture consultant. She currently works in a specialist team supporting 3- and 4-year-olds who have social, emotional and mental health needs. She also trains staff across the country, working with children’s centres, schools, nurseries, charities and churches. Sonia has written nine books.

    "In this absolute gem of a book, Sonia has foregrounded the links between creativity, wellbeing and the education system. She has included tons of resource ideas and links to follow up on, whether you are interested in poetry, drama, art or another area of creativity entirely! But this is more than a simple resource book - the ‘how’ and ‘why’ is also explored, along with real life examples, working with children with SEND and more. The interviews Sonia has included with a diverse range of friends and colleagues adds a fresh dimension to the book, serving both as interesting conversations and inspiration for improvements in pedagogy. The book is woven throughout with Sonia’s own delightful stories, anecdotes, and professional experiences, creating a rich tapestry to draw on for anyone spending time with children, either in a role in school or Early Years setting, or as a parent." – Kathy Brodie, Founder – Early Years TV

    "This new book is a useful blend of the personal and the practical, richly referenced to encourage further exploration. Using an appropriately broad definition of creativity a wide range of key issues are examined, and strong links are made between creativity and wellbeing for both practitioners and children. As a reader you are engaged by regular focused 'moments of reflection', and direct questions that help to challenge and extend your practice. I recommend this book to all professionals working in early years who are serious about developing creativity in their setting." – Ed Harker, Former nursery teacher and infant school headteacher