Loose Parts Play

Time for open-ended play is one of the greatest gifts we can give children, and there is no better way to increase their creativity.  When children are given toys to play with that have an expected finished product, their creativity is limited. This is not to say that there is no place for these types of toys in a child's education, but with loose parts, a child's creativity has no limits.  And the best part is that there is no age limit!  As a child grows and learns, they can use the same loose parts in completely different ways that are appropriate for their developmental stage!

Another great reason to use Loose Parts is that they are such an easy way to incorporate open-ended play into a child's day. Loose Parts can included items such as rocks, buttons, shells, yarn, beads, etc.  Children can use these items to create patterns, pictures, play scenes, and pretty much anything else they can imagine!

"As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts."
Simon Nicholson, founder of the idea of Loose Parts

Nicholson also states in his theory of loose parts that, "In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it."

In my classroom, the students have opportunities for Loose Parts Play at the light table and also in our sensory bins, but I'm also adding a few more options this year.  I added these cork trivets from IKEA, and the students have loved creating faces and different patterns using the trivets as a base.

Loose Parts are a great way to increase a child's creativity through open-ended play., www.justteachy.com

Loose Parts are a great way to increase a child's creativity through open-ended play. www.justteachy.com

Loose Parts are a great way to increase a child's creativity through open-ended play. www.justteachy.com

Right now in our Loose Parts center, we have:
*Cork Trivets (from IKEA, but I ordered mine on Amazon)(affiliate link)
*Shells (collected from the beach)
*Beaded Necklaces (cut into shorter pieces)
*Colorful Glass Stones (Dollar General or these on Amazon)(affiliate link)
*Buttons
*Rocks

Loose Parts Play, www.justteachy.com

Do you use Loose Parts in your classroom?
  I'd love to hear about it!

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