Creative Play for Early Years from Imaginary Leaps
Creative Play for Early Years

Pilot Projects Evaluation

Miriam Murtin



Imaginary Leaps is a ground breaking three-year programme of work committed to developing creative learning activities with the people they are intended to engage: young children. An initiative by Puppetry and Visual Theatre Company, Dynamic New Animation (DNA), the project introduces children and their parents to the importance of creative play and imaginative learning to child development and the acquisition and development of social skills and interaction. The company offers training in theatre and puppetry skills to selected arts practitioners, which are then introduced to early years settings in the Lancashire area. The project divides up into three phases:

  • Research and Development (2006-07)
  • Artists’ training and Pilot Projects (October-December 2007).
  • Lancashire-wide projects (Spring 2009)

This document evaluates the pilot projects that were run in three Early Years settings in the Lancashire area. It asks two questions:

  • How can an artist at an Early Years setting impact on the social, emotional and cultural development of early years children?
  • How can different Early Years environments impact upon artists’ ability to develop free creative theatre play in that particular setting?

The evaluation is based on first-hand observations by the artists involved, a set of written reports and a number of interviews with key workers at the nurseries. All artists provided self-reflective reports for each session and the evaluator visited two or three sessions in each Early Years setting.

The Evaluator

Miriam Murtin works at PALATINE, the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Dance, Drama and Music. She takes a keen interest in puppetry and Early Years work and holds an MA in Theatre Practice from Exeter University. Miriam has been involved in children’s theatre in a variety of capacities, including as a writer and director. [next]


About DNA   I   DNA's working practice for Early Years Creative Play workshops   I   Outcomes   I   Future developments   I   Artists' statements


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