The Adventures of Loose Parts

From the beginning loose parts have been a part of children’s daily play experiences. Our expectations of children’s learning have been so focused on the push toward academic learning due to the pressures of society (Nicholson, 1971).

Loose parts play promotes thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Using loose parts allows children to be imaginative and see solutions while bringing a sense of adventure and joy to their play experiences (Beloglovsky & Daly, 2015).

Loose parts materials within children’s play provide an array of open ended possibilities. It allows children to construct using their imaginations and change their ideas over an extended period of time.

Through our observations we have put together these operations of loose parts play:

  • Dumping
  • Piling
  • Transporting
  • Flat building
  • Grouping
  • Stacking
  • Sorting and classifying
  • Intentional

These are in no way meant to follow a specific order. Depending on the exposure the children have had will depend on the operation.

“Remember this is a process!”

"Playing in the patio. I like playing with people and cars. And I love my classroom! I love our block area with blocks and eggs."
Georgia- 4 yrs old

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