Welcome to Art Play Children Learning

Hello – I am Dr. Louisa Penfold and I work with children in art museums!

I created Art Play Children Learning to support artists, educators and parents to construct children’s creative learning environments.

I am really interested in how the experimental processes of artists can be used to support children’s learning.

Check out the video below to hear what Art Play Children Learning is all about…

On this website you will find posts exploring ideas such as ‘what is pedagogy,’ ‘why does play matter’ as well as different tips and techniques for supporting children’s creative learning with art.

To navigate your way through these posts, I have created a directory with six different key sections. You can find these under the ‘Directory’ heading at the top of the page. These are art, materials, play, learning, reflections on children’s learning spaces as well as a section on my PhD research.

I love connecting with others who also share a relentless enthusiasm for children’s art education so please feel to sign up for the mailing list and leave a comment!

A little about me 

Aside from nerding out about art and children’s learning on this blog, I also do some other things!

I recently completed my PhD in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham in partnership with the early year’s departments at Tate and the Whitworth Art Gallery in the United Kingdom. My research looked at the design of children’s learning activities in art museums. A big part of this was looking at the pedagogical relationship between the material practices of artists and designers and how these can support children’s learning with materials.

Supervisors for this project were Professor Pat Thomson (School of Education, University of Nottingham) and Dr. Emily Pringle (Director of Research at Tate). The research was funded by the University of Nottingham, Brisbane City Council, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The Graduate Women of Queensland Fellowship Fund.

I have also worked on the children’s exhibitions program at The Ipswich Art Gallery and prior to that as an Exhibitions Assistant at Artslink Queensland. More recently, I have worked as a Research Fellow on Serpentine Galleries’ Changing Play programme (UK) and run workshops for teachers and parents on supporting children’s creativity through material play.

In 2012, I also spent time researching intergenerational learning approaches in American art museums at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art as part of my Master thesis.

P.S. Thanks to Stefan Zander for filming the video.


Please wait, it won't be long.


You are now signed up to the Art Play Children Learning email list.

Please check your junk mailbox if you don't get a welcome email in the next couple of minutes!  



  1. Suzana Miletic
    29th September 2018 / 1:27 pm

    Hello Louisa, I am an Early Years Educator from Ontario, Canada. My encounter with your blog could’t be more timely, as our team is exploring and learning together about creative ways to suport childrens’ explorations and expressions throug art. I will definitelly share this blog with the team as a way of supporting our reflective practice . Thank You!

    • louisapenfoldblog
      2nd October 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Hi Suzana, nice to hear from you! Your teams work around children’s experimentation with art sounds great, please let me know how it goes xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


4   56
1   60
4   68
0   32
3   23
6   42
6   59
47   136