Before you take a tour of my loose parts library, I want you to know that the first time I head this term in college, it made no sense to me. I didn’t understand the label at all.
When the items were listed off such as,
I just thought these were the toys I played with as a child. But I was so confused as to why the materials I have so many fond memories of all of a sudden had this new label.
Loose parts are amazing, but I can also understand the confusion around what they are, this unique term and connecting it to your current knowledge.
QUICK INTRO TO LOOSE PARTS
Loose parts or known as variables were termed in the paper The Theory of Loose Parts by Simon Nicholson. He believed that children were being robbed of their creativity from static playgrounds, schools and museums.
In simple terms loose parts/variables can be shapes & materials, water, cooking and fire, sound, animals, plants, words, concepts & ideas, electricity, magnetism, light….you get the picture.
Nicholson states that all children love to engage and play with these items naturally. Ultimately, loose parts are anything that can be manipulated, transported and transformed.
Once I got into the Loose Parts Play facebook group that is organized by Dr. Carla Gull and podcast host of Loose Parts Nature Play, it all started to make sense. How the materials I was already providing were called Loose Parts.
First of all….If you’re new to Loose Parts, head over to Getting Started With Loose Parts Play where you’ll confidently know what these magical variables are and ease your mind around some of the common misconceptions.
LOOSE PARTS SUPPORT THE WHOLE CHILD
The first time I saw how engaged the children were in their play, a spark inside of me was ignited to learn more about how loose parts could nurture children’s development. As a result of this my journey to learning about loose parts play over the last 5 years has been very eye-opening.
I am in awe as to how loose parts can support children to learn how to self-regulate and develop their sensory systems which aids in understanding behaviours.
As well as, how loose parts play an integral role in all aspects of children’s development.
And personally how loose parts have helped me support my son who is autistic and have been so important in us learning how to support his regulation and for him to learn how to self-regulate.
We use loose parts as apart of his daily play for his sensory diet, which you can learn more about what that is and connections to loose parts in the online workshop, Supporting Sensory Needs, which is 1 of 4 workshops inside The Modern Educator Toolkit.
This led to the beginning of my exciting journey to collecting….and over the past 5 years I can now say I have a library of loose parts.
If you are new to loose parts or need some inspiration for your collection make sure you download the FREE Loose Parts Guide!
TAKE A TOUR OF MY LOOSE PARTS LIBRARY!
Now for the best part…the tour of my loose parts library! And this isn’t all of my loose parts…
But what I hope you take away from this tour is the vast and endless materials that are loose parts. I believe anything is a loose part. So if you’re asking if the item is a loose part?…YES it is! An open mind to the possibilities of what the item can be is what keeps it a loose part.
After you watch the video make sure to leave a comment below and share what items you have in your collection. This will continue to support and inspire your fellow educators.
I am an Early Childhood Consultant and very passionate about supporting and inspiring my fellow Educators. I will share my reflections and experiences about implementing my philosophy, views, and ideas into my practice.
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SPECIAL NEEDS MOMMA &
EARLY CHILDHOOD CONSULTANT
Inspiring and mentoring my fellow educators how to use loose parts to enhance all aspects of their practice. I share my dual roles of educator & momma and how our autistic son has shown me so many new perspectives.
read about my early years journey