Wellbeing and Creativity

The inquiry question is “How can creativity support children to experience and express emotions, develop imagination, and feel a sense of belonging within in the community dress-up play?” In this question, expressing of emotions, imagination, and a feeling of belonging are associated with wellbeing. Department of Education and Children Services (2005) states that wellbeing is essential to learning and learning contributes to wellbeing . The Early Learning Framework for Australia (2009) defines wellbeing as sound mental and physical health condition.

The proposed package (nurturing creativity through dress-up and role play) prioritises the concept of wellbeing and focuses on enhancing socio-emotional skills in preschool children. Social and emotional wellbeing is important because it influences a child’s health, psychology, emotions,  and development (Mayr & Ulich, 2009). Activities of the package such as dressing up and enacting the different roles should train children to regulate their emotions, and the involved interactions will help to strengthen the preschoolers’ social competence.  

On the other hand, the package associates creativity with the development of children’s imagination and ability to see the world from different perspectives. The definition is inspired by ideas of Guilford (1986) that divergent thinking equips children with strong capacity to exercise creative problem-solving. That is, dress-up and role-play activities will encourage children to engage in divergent thinking.

When dressed like a police officer, for instance, a child will have to reason like the person does in real world and when roles change the same child may have to think like a nurse or a mother. Development of such divergent thoughts helps the children to see the world from the perspective of the person whose role they enact, and start to engage in critical thinking to solve the associated problems.

Key Factors determining Wellbeing and Creative Learning at Story House Learning Centre

The following are the approaches used by the daycare to promote wellbeing and creativity:

Parental involvement in the learning process. Story House Learning Centre sends regular surveys to families inquire about their satisfaction with the institution’s operations. Feedback from parents or guardians helps the institution to know what the are doing well and to identify areas they could improve to meet the needs of every child. The institution also acknowledges and appreciates different cultures. Story House Learning Centre celebrates diverse cultural events including NIADOC, Diwali, and Christmas, among others.

Working together with families also enables educators to know and understand identity, spirituality, and culture (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009). With this knowledge, educators identifies ways to act sensitively toward children’s emotions so that they feel safe, well, and ready to learn. The daycare also associates proper nutrition with welleing. Children at  get fresh and balanced meals every day. Menus are developed weekly, with the learners’ background and cultures in mind.

Accessibility of arts resources also matters to the institution. Each of the rooms used by learners contains a permanent art section, where the children learn this subject. Additionally, the music teacher comes weekly to teach music to all the age groups. According to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009), a child’s wellbeing in a academic context is defined by access to opportunities and support required to excel in the learning environment.

Partnerships between educators and the children’s families also contribute to their wellbeing as this helps both parties to discuss a child’s performance in various subjects and make a collective decision on how to help the child. The partnerships are particularly important for children with special needs as they often need specialised care and attention.

Relevant Pedagogical Influences

Educators should implement family-based practice. The family-centred  practice allows the preschoolers to learn in an environment that is directly influenced by their families. Educators make this possible by acknowledging the role that families play in the lives of their children (The Early Learning Framework for Australia, 2009). In this regard, educators can utilise perspectives of the family on a child to decide on how to plan a child’s learning and development.

Professionals should as well ensure that the learning environment remains culturally inclusive and parents are allowed to take part in and contribute to the planning of learning process. Educators should then offer feedback to the families, informing them about the children’s progress and highlighting additional activities that could help the children to continue learning at home or in the community. Professionals should establish and maintain relationships based on care and respect with families, and work collaboratively to make learning effective and implement learning experiences that match the local settings of the learners. The strategy promotes children’s ability to understand the world. A sense of security and wellbeing also results from this.

Children’s creativity and wellbeing also improve when teachers set high expectations for them. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2009) stated that vulnerable children attain better outcomes when their teachers show a desire to see them grow and develop by setting high expectation. Children with special needs usually require additional support and access to differentiated learning opportunities. Early childhood educators can create an inclusive learning experience for the children by committing to high expectations to ensure all children go through learning and development successfully.

Next, preschool educators should partner with early childhood professionals in various fields. Engaging with these experts will enable adoption of multidisciplinary strategies for supporting families, and the educators will also expand their knowledge base and skills (The Early Learning Framework for Australia, 2009). Working with peers will help the preschool teachers to acquire information and develop holistic approaches to learning. Professional partnerships also help the teachers to know the peer they could refer to when they need assistance. Collaborating with more experienced colleagues is as well vital for understanding of and planning for transitions. Educators could also learn from peers how to use prior knowledge of children to establish continuity in learning and development.

Early childhood teachers may as well use integrated teaching and learning methods to continue with shared  interactions among children, from play to increasingly targeted experiential learning.  The integrated approach further utilises active learning activities to engage the children. The viewpoint matches argument by Michalopoulou (2012) that human being have higher potential of learning if approaches in place engage then in an active process of meaning-making.

Incorporating hands-on activities and allowing children to seek answers through exploration are also great pedagogical practices. Play is highly recommended in this context because it stimulates a range of creative, intellectual, social, and physical abilities in children (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009). Adult engagement in children’s play is also essential, to facilitate shared and sustained conversations. Preschool teachers may implement the integrated approaches by establishing physical environments that allow learners to learn and participate in physical activities, indoors and outdoors. Educators could also make use of child-centred teaching approaches to deliver knowledge and skills.

Application of whole-child approach to assessment is necessary when evaluating the progress of the learners as it enables the educator to get a holistic view of the child’s learning and development (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009). Proper tools and techniques should be used to promote progress of prior knowledge  by adding value, not duplicating.

Seeking children’s feedback on their learning and use of informed practice are vital here. Early childhood professional may also improve their effectiveness by reflecting on their practice and adhering to culture of professional enquiry. The guidance of a preschool educator is what enables children to learn (Michalopoulou, 2012). The steps can enable the teachers to challenge or even change a number of approaches they adopted in the past.

Application of the Package of Practice in Creative teaching and learning

Below are the resources and curriculum design relevant to application of role-play through dress-up.

Required Resources

Materials and equipment include:

Salon: the area is set up and equipped with reusable jewellery pieces such as traditional necklaces, bangles, scarf, hair clips, and mirror lights. Posters are also pinned in the area.

Photo booth: Taking photos in this set up area should boost children’s esteem.

Clothes: A variety of traditional clothes to improve imaginative skills as they dress up and enact roles performed by people who dress-up that way. Given that the collection has traditional attires, wearing them expands children’s knowledge of various traditions and grows their cultural awareness.


When implementing the package, I will supply traditional clothes and accessories needed by the children for daily activities. Additional old clothes will also be availed to enable children exercise their imagination in deciding what to do with the collection. I am inspired by Boden’s idea that creativity should involve undertaking of activities that enable learners to go beyond pre-established boundaries, in a positive way (Boden 1992).

Deakin university (2022, para 13) states that children possess creativity and can learn effectively through fantasy, imagination, and spontaneity. Teacher play key role in developing creativity in children. As Michalopoulou (2008) explained, educators are responsible for creating experiences that trigger children’s imagination. Early childhood professionals should also allow children to experiment with new ideas and resources, ensuring that every culture is acknowledged and respected. In regard to this, I set up the role play area based on the current interests of the children. I also sought the assistance and advice of a more knowledgeable peer, the room leader.

The selected environment is a quiet open room to allow children play freely.  For rehearsals, only four children tried the dress-up and role plays. They seemed to enjoy the experience and expressed great interest in the activity. The learning environment is set to allow children share their ideas and feelings with others, openly.

Children also build strong relationships while playing and learn teamwork skills while trying to help each other dress for the roles. Trust and confidence are also promoted in the learning context and children learn to self-regulate emotions. More activities will be included targeting one skill at a time, and next week will involve music dance to empower physical development by strengthening movement skills.

Six point star thinking template

Step 1:  Activities to support inventive thinking and imaginative response:

Dress-up games allow children to explore ideas about the real world and use their imagination to perform different roles. For example, they might choose to be a pirate or a Doctor. It also allows children to express emotions safely. A child could, for instance, pretend to be a kind and caring nurse or a brave Fireman.

Step 2: Reflect and respond to opportunities

Children will have the opportunity to enhance social skills through sharing dress-up and other resources. They will also increasingly explore other cultures, traditions, and backgrounds and work collaboratively with others. Educators will listen to their ideas, be playful, and respond positively to them.

Step 3: Cultural references

I am influenced by the philosophical statement of Gowrie Victoria which states that children should have opportunities to imagine and create, have meaningful experiences, express thoughts and ideas, solve problems, engage in reflective thinking and explore diverse ways of knowing, thinking and learning to nurture creativity.

Step 4: Making processes and skills

Children will have to act as a performer through dress-up and role play. Dress-up supports children to develop their brain and memory as it requires children to remember what they’ve seen or heard. They will develop problem-solving skills.

Step 5: Goals and motivations

To recognize that they have the right to belong to many communities, and understand a different way of contributing through play.

To develop a sense of self and respond to a feeling of belonging, explore other cultures through role play.

To explore ideas using imagination, creativity and play.

To build well-being through safe ways of expressing emotions and developing imagination - through pretend play- dress-up play

Step 6: Arts concepts and understandings

ACARA states that Drama students:

become aware of role and situation as they listen and respond as fictional characters

learn about focus and identify the main idea of the drama

learn how their ideas can be expressed through roles and stories.

ACARA SAYS In Foundation to Year 2, learning in The Arts builds on the Early Years Learning Framework. Children are engaged through purposeful and creative play in structured activities, fostering a strong sense of wellbeing and developing their connection with and contribution to the world.

Ways to observe and assess/document Learning and Development

Children show social and emotional wellbeing through confidence, trust, happiness, and satisfaction (The Early Learning Framework for Australia, 2009). The happiness and confidence often result from recognition and celebration of individual achievements. The social and emotionally well children are also cooperative and collaborate with others in completing tasks and in the learning process.  In the context of early childhood education, Mayr and Ulich (2009) explained that educators can assess six major areas to determine if children’s socio-emotional wellbeing is evident. 

The areas include self-assertiveness, focusing on tasks, emotional stability or ability to cope with stress, interest in exploration, social performance, and self regulation. In the dress-up and role play package, flexibility is also of importance. Flexibility becomes evident when a child enacts a number of roles, based on the type of clothes he or she wears (Deakin University, 2022 para 7) . The ability of the child to assume each of these roles in a pretend play is what defines their flexibility.