Early Years Workshops

Early Years – Inclusive, open-ended play

For Early Years, we use our open-ended materials to explore a range of sensory activities that nurture every young child’s desire to explore, inquire, create and experience.

Open-ended materials are objects that have multiple uses and infinite possibilities. They can be collected, played with, transported, combined, adapted, taken apart and put back together in different ways.  ReCreate’s open-ended materials such as cardboard, foil, fabrics and plastics, stretch the imagination and introduce a world of possibilities. When used by young children, the objects unusual nature yields unexpected results, stimulating inquiry and discovery in ways that are entirely child-led, supporting their independence and well-being.

Evidence based research through our Heads UP (2016) and All Heads Together (2018) projects highlighted the value of our materials open-ended qualities. Using the Framework of the Aistear themes, this research proved that the materials encourage greater;

  • Engagement and imaginative play
  • Peer to peer communication and collaboration
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Sense of achievement and well-being

“I am amazed at how engaged all the children were today.  Usually, only a few children join in the creative play in this group but today all of them have engaged in it”- preschool teacher

 “We have observed how the project has enhanced the emotional and social development of the children. They work well together as a team and children who might not join in have started to engage more readily with the other children” – preschool teacher

Open-ended play – staff workshop

This workshop will introduce you to new activities and processes with our reuse materials, that can be used within your setting.  This hands-on session will encourage you to stretch your imagination and introduce you to a world of possibilities that allow children to make choices, express their creativity and support their sense of achievement.


Using the materials as provocations in process-based activities, participants will learn how to support each of the Four themes of Aistear:

  • Well-being,
  • Identity and Belonging
  • Communicating
  • Exploring and Thinking

Hands-on activities include:

  • Sensory play and investigation using colour, painting and mark making
  • Role-play and imaginative play props that are open-ended
  • Free-play construction and loose parts
  • Outdoor play incorporating natural objects

Who this is for?

This workshop is for preschool teachers, special needs assistants and those working with young children. You will be encouraged to actively engage with materials and processes, discuss ideas and explore possibilities of how creative practices through reuse materials can be introduced into your setting.

Inclusive learning through play – Child & staff workshop

A feast for the senses, why not invite one of our ReCreate artists into your setting. Bringing a selection of open-ended materials, our artist will introduce you and the children to creative processes that encourage engagement though child-led activities that are explorative and fun.

“One particular boy who finds it difficult to stay still was engrossed in the activity as it involved movement. He was is his element” – Early Years Teacher


Through collaboration with our artist, you will experience first-hand how to enhance each child’s engagement through creative practice, how to support a deeper and richer learning experience and open new avenues of creative learning, inventiveness and communication on an on-going basis with the children in your setting.

  • Through participation you will learn new skills that support:
  • Learning and developing through play
  • The development of fine and gross motor skills
  • Language skills
  • Decision making
  • Adult and child collaboration

You will discover ideas and processes that extend beyond one-off activities, that can be repeated or returned to, and that lend themselves to ongoing involvement and learning development.


Using the materials as provocations for play, a range of processes can be developed for your setting. These can include:

  • A cardboard house or structure – roleplay, communication
  • No mess paint – colour and context
  • Large scale drawing – Fine and gross motor skills, collaboration, movement
  • Sticky Wall – shapes, hand-eye coordination, vertical movement
  • Large scale painting – messy play, identity, outdoor play
  • Large cardboard structure – outdoor and imaginative play incorporating natural materials

Who is this for?

This workshop is for children and staff and a pre-school setting.