Play is characterised by pleasure, freedom and an activity that is an end in itself. People play to play and because it is fun. Play is free in the sense that what is to be done in play is done openly. Play is designed to educate, because through play we experience being a physical self in the physical world, a social self in the human world and a creative self in the cognitive world. Play is also children's natural source of all forms of creativity, as in a joyful and immediate atmosphere of flow, children remain open to each other's new and different ideas, thus creating and managing change, including when combining elements that are not normally connected.

Through play, children can participate in communities with people who are not (only) like them and who have the same ideas, thoughts and views of the world as they do. And therein lies the necessary education to develop, for example, inclusiveness, tolerance and the ability to deal with frustration and social conflict. Through play, children's sensory, intellectual and emotional horizons can be expanded with new forms and insights. We can curiously challenge and transcend the existing roles and positions we each occupy, which could always be different. For in the process of play it is possible to imagine the world and ourselves radically different: 'So we played that you were the mother and I was the dog...', 'What if instead we said that...?', and 'How can we do that instead of...?'


Education is one of the most abstract and unclear concepts we have. This is because education is fundamentally about become human. Becoming human is about changing the way you relate to yourself, other people and the world. Formation happens when you are ready to open up to the world and experience that the world is bigger. Personhood formation is experiencing that the world is different from what you thought, which changes the way you relate to yourself, others and the world.

Formation should be understood as the process of transcending one's own world and engaging with a larger world. It is formation if in this process one experiences that it is possible to relate differently to oneself and to the world around one, and consequently changes one's way of relating.

Education through play is an excellent starting point if children are to develop in the long term into whole people with self-esteem and a desire to learn and develop. In role play, 'as if' play happens, where the child learns about itself in the world by acting in ways it might not otherwise. The child naturally alternates between the real and fictional worlds and experiences being in the world with others.


Art is any creation where the intention is to be art. That is, it must be a work whose primary intention and characteristic is to be artistic.

The original understanding of the concept of art is about skill, knowledge and insight. Professional art is part of the aesthetic expression. Art is here linked to the verb 'to be able' and represents the expertise in aesthetics. In other words, aesthetics can also be spoken of without it being art

The artists are the masters of the language of form who can inspire children and educators, but at the same time the children can inspire back with playful processes and experimental approaches to the use of the language of form. In this way, a reciprocal relationship can develop between the aesthetic activities of children and adults. When the young kindergarten child paints a picture, he or she is using an aesthetic form of expression - as is the professional artist. The child and the artist thus use the same artistic language, but they do so at different levels and for different purposes.

Children should have the opportunity to experience the authentic encounter with art that leaves its mark and creates meaning and significance in each individual child. Children should have the opportunity to be creative themselves and to try out different aesthetic forms of expression and techniques. Working with art and culture in day care is about introducing children to something they have not seen before, letting them hear something they have not heard before and doing something they have not done before. For example, when the nursery visits an art museum or has a visit from a music duo.


Culture represents what is man-made: Our societies, our ways of relating, our languages, our cities, houses and education systems, etc. and our cultural institutions - which contain cultural heritage and art. Children need to encounter cultural diversity and have experiences that help them understand that customs, languages and ways of life can be different.

Working with arts and culture in day care is about culture for children, culture with children and culture by children. Culture for children is culture at eye level, on children's terms, allowing children to experience the world in a different way and gain new knowledge. Culture with children are the activities that children and adults engage in together, and thus culture can bridge the child and adult worlds. Culture by allows children to open up and enter different worlds with multiple expressions, where they can express their own perspectives with their own voices.

Children's culture is about how children are given the opportunity to acquire patterns, genres and the cultural expressions they contain, in order to improvise, recreate and further develop the expressions and thus qualify the silent knowledge that the body archives and classifies. Children's culture is the cultural expressions and genres that children produce in their own networks, i.e. their play culture: games, stories, songs, rhymes, rhymes, jokes, etc., but also aesthetic expressions linked to the moment such as rhythmic sounds, jokes, teasing, gaits and sounds. Children's ways of using various media also fall into this category, such as writing, video, computers and apps.

Children's culture is about the aesthetic expressions and experiences in art and in media and creative practices that can help inspire and qualify children's own cultural processes.


Aesthetics can be seen as:

  • terms for art-based forms of expression (e.g. literature, music, visual arts, drama), through which one can experience and express oneself as both performer and observer
  • en aesthetic experiencethat stimulate the senses and emotions (e.g. music, decor, film, food)
  • path to learning, in which one translates impressions/experiences of the world into aesthetic form, in order to reflect on oneself and the world.

Aesthetics is a culturally conditioned form of expression characterised by the use of one or more aesthetic formal languages, such as visual arts, music, drama, dance or poetry, to share, express and process experiences, impressions, thoughts, feelings and sensations.

When you have an aesthetic experience, it means that you have an experience that is mediated through an aesthetic language of form; for example, when you listen to music, experience theatre or look at children's drawings. Being an aesthetic creator is about using aesthetic forms of expression to have and share experiences and to translate impressions into expression.

Aesthetics has both a recreational and a creative form, just as it can alternate between being process- and/or product-oriented. The aesthetic creative process can be closely linked to play and can include sensory experiments, exploratory processes and more product-oriented processes such as making theatre, playing music, writing stories, making films or painting a picture.

What all these processes have in common is that they are based on a desire to play, create and express oneself, and that they are developed through creative co-creation processes both between children and children and between children and adults.


Co-creation is fundamentally about creating something together. In a co-creation process, relevant actors work as equals to, for example, create something new, inspire each other or get to the heart of a problem and solve it together. Equitable co-creation is defined by the fact that the outcome of the co-creation is not predetermined and that all actors play a central role in the co-creation process. It allows for unpredictability, where the outcome is not known, but the starting point, the field of investigation or the problem is defined.

Children, pedagogical staff, artists and cultural mediators, pedagogical students and researchers are in equal dialogue and experiment with both known and new approaches to art and culture in the everyday life of daycare. In these processes, the diverse resources of those involved are brought together in a 'common third', where no one is more expert than another, and everyone contributes their own experience, knowledge and expertise. This can open the door to mutual inspiration, competence development and horizon broadening - and above all a richer children's environment. It strengthens the quality of each day-care centre and makes us all wiser about what happens when different actors jointly create, collaborate on and reflect on everyday situations centred on aesthetic processes, art and culture.