How Loose Parts Can Enhance Play And Learning

How Loose Parts Can Enhance Play And Learning

When trying to develop young minds, there are many tools available. However, there seems to be a current drive to use technology to inspire and teach. This might be great at times, but there’s still lots of learning and fun that can be achieved through small, lower cost items.

Loose Parts are an excellent tool for learning and are great fun for children. The best part is that they aren’t just for one use. Loose Parts can be used in many activities from counting, to art and self-expression, to science. It’s the childrens’ imagination that determines the activity and through trial and error, they’ll have a great learning experience.

So how can you maximise the learning and play opportunities with Loose Parts? Here are some of our key pieces of advice.

  1. Offer A Variety

A Loose Part can be anything from a glass bead, shell, pebble, small box, etc. This makes them easy to find and gives children a lot of choice when playing and learning. Always have a range of Loose Parts accessible. These could be kept apart, but children might enjoy sorting them as an activity.

  1. Change The Activities Available

It’s important that children don’t just stick to one activity with any tool you are providing them. They might enjoy art with different coloured pebbles, but if they’re constantly doing the same activity are they pushing their learning? Try to encourage children to get out of their comfort zone to help with their development.

  1. Flexibility

While you might want to encourage some learning, you should still be flexible, and child-led. Adult supervision is important with Loose Parts, but children must feel in control for their self-confidence and so they don’t feel stifled.

  1. Take It Outdoors

Loose Parts are great for outdoor play where children can really get their imaginations going. A sand or water table can be utilised to enhance their learning, and play, with the objects you offer. Alternatively, you can use bigger objects such as slices of tree trunks or large stones to offer greater variety.

So how do you incorporate Loose Parts into your learning environment? What outside playtime activities do you recommend?

Let us know in the comments.

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us

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