At Aspiri Primary School, Loose Parts Play is a key feature of our dynamic Early Childhood Playground Environment.
What is Loose Parts Play?
Loose Parts are materials that can be moved, lined up, built on/with, carried, redesigned, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.
Loose Parts can be natural or synthetic (Let the children play, 2010).
Loose Parts can be:
- Old laptops
- Old vacuum cleaners
- Timber cable reals
Loose Parts in ECE
It is helpful to think of Loose Parts as something that will inspire children’s’ imagination and creativity on their own terms and in their own unique way (Penn State Extension, n.d). Children won’t always use equipment the way the adult world expects them to, which is actually where the magic happens. It is important to encourage children to explore, create and experiment with these parts to allow them to gain confidence in creative thinking, acceptable risk taking and trying new things. There is no ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ in Loose Parts Play!
Loose Parts to support play
Loose parts can be used in any way the children choose. This gives them ownership over their play and allows them to create structures that are of interest to them. Loose Parts can be adapted and manipulated in many ways and gives children opportunities in learning by building, measuring, creating, sharing, imagining, socialising and problem solving (Let the children play, 2010). Loose Parts play encourages open-ended learning and gives new life to old ‘junk’. (Children can use the same item is different ways).
RULES with Loose Parts Play?
There are 3 main rules when children are engaged in Loose Parts Play
- We look after our environment
- We look after our ‘Treasure”
- We make sure we are all having fun!
- It is also important that the children take responsibility for the Loose Parts ‘Treasure’. This mean they MUST pack it away properly.