Day 25 | 30 Days to Transform Your Play
We’ve talked about so much in this series, haven’t we? Playdough, clay, drawing, construction, choosing and organising toys… and throughout most of the posts there’s been something in common; loose parts.
Here’s a little something I’ve written about loose parts before:
“In 1972, architect Simon Nicholson developed the Theory of Loose Parts; the idea that loose parts, materials which can be moved around, designed and redesigned, and tinkered with; create infinitely more opportunities for creative engagement than static materials and environments. Basically, the more materials there are the more people can interact.”
“…an environment which is rich in open-ended materials and real materials, invokes children to experiment, engage, construct and invent; invites them to tinker, to manipulate and to play.” ~ continue reading
When I first started introducing loose parts into Jack and Sarah’s play I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing or what to expect. And to be completely honest, it took a little time for Jack and Sarah to take to them. So much so that I wasn’t really sure that loose parts were all they were cracked up to be.
But I kept seeing all those Reggio Emilia environments brimming with loose parts and was so captivated by their beauty and their potential that I continued to offer them….and I am oh so glad that I did. Loose parts have become Jack and Sarah’s favourite things to play with.
So if you are not completely sold, here’s 10 reasons to LOVE loose parts…
10 Reasons to Love Loose Parts
- Loose parts are beautiful: all those lovely colours, shapes and textures, what’s not to love
- Loose parts are cheap… or even better, free!: most of our loose parts came from bargain stores (the fake flower section is a treasure trove!) And let’s not forget mother nature’s gifts which change every season
- Loose parts encourage tinkering and experimenting: they can be designed and redesigned, pulled apart and rearranged, they can be used to explore complex concepts like,
- relationships between materials
- laws of motion
- how light travels and optics
- how sound is created
- mechanics – energy, mass and inertia
- Loose parts appeal to our children’s unique interests and stage of development
- depending on their age they will use the same materials differently
- Loose parts offer infinite opportunities for creative engagement
- Loose parts are easy to find: bargain stores, craft stores, even department stores like Big W and K-mart have some treasures like wooden cedar balls (intended to keep moths away) which make wonderful loose parts
- Loose parts encourage children to manipulate their environment
- move parts around
- problem solve
- create new spaces
- Loose parts allow children to continually engage in higher levels of play
- once they have finished playing with them in one way, the child can easily change up their play and use them in a completely different way
- The same loose parts can be used in all manner of play. A pinecone can be a tree in an imaginary story or a printing tool whilst exploring clay or playdough
- Loose parts are gender neutral. They aren’t marketed to boys or girls. They are equally appealing to both genders for their immense potential for creative expression and discovery
10 Reasons to Love Loose Parts… I hope you love them too.