Children's Creative Expression

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Sign up for this exhibit is now closed. Thank you for your interest, we'll see you next year!


In 2015, a group of New Mexico Early Childhood Professionals – connected with UNM’s Early Childhood Services Center (ECSC) and the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children (NMAEYC) – joined forces in studying and learning from the innovative and inspiring Reggio Emilia Approach. Part of the work that came out of that group was organizing an exhibit of Children’s creative words, work and expression at the 2016 NMAEYC conference. This exhibit featured work created by New Mexico’s children. This year NMAEYC has partnered with the NM Reggio Emilia Exchange (NMREX) to continue this tradition. We invite you to submit children's artwork for the 2018 Annual NMAEYC Early Childhood Conference! This exhibit aims to showcase the creative work of children from birth to age eight. 

Children's Creative Expression Exhibit

This exhibit is open to children’s work in classrooms and homes that show the variety of ways children express their thoughts, ideas, and questions. This exhibit is open to people studying / using the Developmental Interaction Approach (DIA), the NM Early Learning Guidelines (ELG), the Reggio Emilia Approach and all other classroom and learning approaches. 

We believe that creativity in the early years is very important as it engages children across all domains. Creative activities are intentionally open-ended and foster divergent thinking and support the process of creativity without focusing exclusive attention on the final product. 

This year, teachers have the opportunity to consider the conference theme when selecting children's work for submission. The following guiding questions could be used to inspire you work with children.

Access Children's Exhibit Flyer

Guiding Thoughts

The gallery is an opportunity for children to contribute to the discussion surrounding the conference. It gives early childhood professionals the opportunity to learn from children, particularly regarding the theme of the conference: Collaboration

Ideas include:

  • A painting done collaboratively by a group of infants along with photos showing them working side by side.
  • A series of photographs showing 2 and 3 year olds collaborating to build something much bigger than they could build alone, along with quotes of them giving each other directions and negotiating piece placement.
  • A discussion between five year olds as to what it means to collaborate.
  • Stories of parents and teachers working together for the benefit of the children.
  • Experiences of a child and an adult - be it a parent, home visitor, or early interventionist - expression of a child

We encourage discussion, dialogue and reflection of children’s creativity at the exhibit and conference. We are excited to use this as a way to encourage children’s expressions in classrooms and homes, showing how children are capable in many different ways.



Submission Procedures

1. Children's two-dimensional or thee-dimensional work (paintings, drawings, collage, sculpture, etc.). Please include a title and/or quote from the children about their work.

2. A documentation panel that reflects and experience you had with young children. The panel may include any or all of the following:

  • Written descriptions and/or reflections from the adults' and/or children's perspectives.
  • Photographs with quotes or simple descriptions.
  • Children's work (e.g. paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.) with quotes or simple descriptions.

3. Other options: A book or binder with images, an audio recording, a movie, online digital media shared through a QR code, or other medium or your choosing

Collecting the artworks!

Each creative piece will be displayed with the child’s name, age, and geographical location. We will be conducting scheduled pick-ups around the state the first two weeks of March to collect the pieces. Further instructions will be sent to those who have signed up. If you are attending the conference, submissions must be picked up at the end of the day on March 17th. If you are not attending the conference, submissions will be taken back to your regional storage location and must be picked up within two weeks of the conference.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Holzknecht at or call (505) 550-3852.



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