Smart Nurseries Develop a Culture of Creativity

September 29th 2015

On the 10th of October it is Social Saturday and as a social enterprise, we will be celebrating.

The aim of Social Saturday 2015 is to raise awareness of just how easy it is to support businesses that trade quality items and services and invest profits in projects supporting the local community, international development, the environment, charities and a wealth of other progressive schemes

In the spirit of collaboration, we have invited From Babies With Love to join us and celebrate the day. We will be showcasing our children’s art work at one of our newest nurseries in New Cross and welcoming the Mayor of Lewisham to Chair our panel of judges.

Please do come along by clicking this link


The LEYF pedagogy is all about finding and responding to children’s interests from a very young age and engaging with them so they are excited about learning. Creative and kind approaches are key. We share the view of the great Armenian philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian (89 -55) who wrote,

‘Creativity and imaginative experiences help us develop the full range of human potential.  When adults support small children you can see them become more confident happy and secure.’

Trevarthen (2008) in his studies of babies found that infants under one year who have no language still communicate powerfully and constructively with receptive adults.

  • Art is so important to children and to their life skills because it allows children to experience and investigate and build confidence through their individual responses to the world around them.
  • Art helps children weave ideas into practical activities where they also apply their physical, social, cognitive and communication skills and understanding.
  • Children need to experience opportunities for mark-making, drawing, painting, textile, printing, pattern-making and modelling in 2 and 3 dimensional forms.
  • A rich variety of materials are important including cards, papers, plastics, wood, textiles, adhesives, fasteners, natural and malleable materials.
  • Work can be large and small, indoors and outdoors, individual and collaborative. Children are fascinated by shapes and patterns and contrasts between light and dark.
  • Children also need to have sensory experiences which develop their oral, aural and tactile experiences.

From an early age, children can explore a whole variety of materials – paint, glue, clay, markers, paper and cards, plastics and woods – finding out what they do and how they behave. Young children need opportunities for sensory exploration of materials and objects in the environment around them – not just toys but the feel of wet grass, smoothly carved wood, cold metal, or stroking a soft warm rabbit.  Adults can encourage and share responses and feelings – for example, the touch, colour and scent of blossom or delight at the sound and feel of slowly trickling water. Mark-making with different materials on a variety of surfaces is important, including large scale work which encourages confidence and whole arm/body movements enabling children to associate marks with the movements they make.


Extract from The LEYF Approach to Creativity:

  • LEYF staff support the children’s creativity by themselves being
  • Happy and friendly
  • Playful
  • Explorers and communicators
  • Imaginative and creative
  • Interested in the children
  • Curious about our environment
  • In touch with ourselves
  • Willing to take a risk

The benefit is much greater as the future needs adults who are creative thinkers.  Big social enterprises are not going to be built in the future unless we nurture creative leaders.
At LEYF we have long used artistic practices and techniques drawn from the visual arts and performing arts including some great partnerships with Shakespeare in Schools, Tate Britain and Tate Modern to help release the creativity found across the organisation. We found that artists helped us gain a new understanding of a particular issue.

We hope other business copy this and release the creativity which the rigours of the business processes keep suppressed. Arts and culture improve the quality of life by offering opportunities for recreation and social interaction, mental stimulations and physical activity, thereby contributing to good health and well being. Participation in arts and cultural activities offers a chance for self-expression and learning new skills which increase self-esteem, broaden our horizons and raise our aspirations.  On Social Saturday, our aspiration is to celebrate LEYF as a social enterprise, enjoy our collaboration with From Babies With Love and appreciate the pleasure of the children’s art and the pure enjoyment of being absorbed in something creative.