Are your children bored of playing the same toys again and again? Do you want to buy some new toys but it is not possible at the moment because they are not classified as essential items? Let’s take a look at loose parts.
What are loose parts?
Loose parts can be natural or synthetic, such as stones, stumps, sand, gravel, fabric, twigs, wood, pallets, boxes, logs, stones, flowers, rope, tyres and shells. These materials can be moved, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken part and put back together in multiple ways. Unlike toy cars or puzzles, they are materials with no specific set of directions.
What I like about loose parts is that they are open-ended and they don’t have to be purchased at the store! Most items you already have lying around your house, like the boxes of your delivery or the leaves from your trees.
Being creative with recycled material
These are the examples of building with loose parts. They are the most common recycled materials we can find around the house.
Creating patterns with stones and seashells
My friend’s son is having fun arranging stones and seashells he collected from the beaches. He created a small dinosaur and a big dinosaur.
Imaginative play with leaves, sand and water
Children love to act out real life experiences using the real tools and natural resources like plants, leaves, flowers, water and sands.
What learning is happening here?
Because loose parts materials are open-ended, it encourages children use more creativity and imagination and develop more skill and competence than they would playing with most modern plastic toys. You may see children choose loose parts over expensive toys.
If you are not sure what kind of activities you can set up with loose parts, just simply offer children the materials. They will find their own way to play with them and you will be blown by their creativity and imagination!