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Loose Parts Play

What are loose parts?

In Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings, loose parts mean alluring, beautiful found objects and materials that children can move, maniupulate, control, and change while they play (Oxfordshire Play Association, accessed 2014).

Children can carry, combine, redesign, line up, take apart, and put loose parts back together in almost endless ways. The materials come with no specific set of directions, and they can be used alone or combined with other materials (Hewes 2006). 

Children can turn them into whatever they desire: a stone can become a character in a story; an acorn can become an ingredient in an imaginary soup. These objects invite conversations and interactions, and they encourage collaboration and cooperation.

Put another way, loose parts promote social  competence because they support creativity and innovation. All of these are highly valued skills in adult life today.

(adapted from Loose Parts Inspiring Play For Young Children by Lisa Daly)

 

Loose Parts Play

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