Dr Julie Kirkham is a senior Psychology lecturer and programme leader for the MScFamily and Child Psychology at the University of Chester. Her research interests include children’s symbolic development and the role of art, play and creativity within different educational curricula. Her published work investigates the relationships between language, drawing and symbolic play and the influence of Montessori and Steiner education upon these abilities. Dr Kirkham is currently involved in research studying the relationship between childhood fantasy play, imaginary friends and personality traits and abilities during adulthood, as well as the development of children’s aesthetic understanding and preferences for different forms of art. The seminar will consider several small scale exploratory studies which present interesting results and potential avenues for further research.