Loose Parts Play

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, mixed together, sorted and assembled.  They can be used alone or combined with other loose parts.  There are no directions for loose parts play.

Ideas for how to incorporate loose parts into your centre

Try laying a few loose parts out and then wait. Although they may be ignored at first, avoid moving the items closer or starting the interaction. Children will eventually respond to the items in their environment and your loose parts will become a part of their play. The loose parts will spark an idea and provide an opportunity for child-centred play. 

Some common items to use as loose parts:

•    Recycled materials
•    Measuring cups
•    Ropes
•    String and twine
•    Magnifying glasses
•    Pulleys
•    Pots and pans
•    Baskets
•    Wooden blocks
•    Paint brushes
•    Dried clay
•    Tree cookies
•    Watering cans
•    Logs
•    Rocks
•    Sand
•    Mounds of snow
•    Planks 
•    Treasure tray