Loose parts are materials that are both natural and synthetic. They empower children to play creatively without limitations. A stick can become a bridge and rocks can become animals. The possibilities are endless. By exposing children to loose parts play we are allowing them the opportunity to use abstract thought while simultaneously allowing for concrete exploration.
I enjoy using loose parts in both sensory play and on their own. Loose parts also provide opportunities for parallel play and cooperative play.
examples of loose parts:
Natural play area
water • sand • dirt • sticks • branches • logs • driftwood • grasses • moss • leaves • flowers • pinecones • pine needles • seeds • shells • bark • feathers • boulders • rocks • pebbles • stones
balls • hoops • jump ropes • tires • sand • water • dirt • straw • boulders • rocks • stones • pebbles • buckets • cups • containers • digging tools • chalk • scarves • ribbons • fabric
blocks • building materials • manipulatives • measuring • pouring devices (cups, spoons, buckets, funnels) • dramatic play props • play cars, animals, and people • blankets • materials • floor samples • water • sand • sensory materials • recycled materials (paper tubes, papers, ribbons, caps, lids, wood scraps, wire, foam, cardboard) • plastic gutters • small plungers • tools • art materials (buttons, spools, natural and colored popsicle sticks, beads, straws, paints, brushes)
CAUTION! loose parts that are small can be choking hazards, please do not use anything smaller than 1.25 inches for children under three. Always provide supervision while playing with loose parts.
I would love to see how you are playing with loose parts! comment bellow to share your ideas.
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