When you remember where you loved to play as a kid, I bet there was some part of it that you created for yourself using whatever stuff was around. Am I right? That stuff is what we call 'Loose Parts'!
Loose Parts are the fodder for play! Children can move, change, and adapt them to fit their play needs of the moment. Unlike fixed play equipment, they are open-ended so they can be played with in an infinite number of ways. Have you ever noticed how children can spend hours playing with a cardboard box? Because it is adaptable and changeable, it can be whatever a child imagines it to be. We aspire to make quality play parts that are as good as any cardboard box!
“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”
The Theory of Loose Parts, Simon Nicholson, 1971
Here are some of the benefits of providing a variety of Loose Parts in the play environment:
- Supports creative problem solving.
- Offer opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
- Support appropriate risk taking.
- Stimulate spatial awareness.
- Engage both large and fine motor skills.
- Can be played with in an infinite number of ways.
- Can be interesting for kids of all ages and abilities.
Don't our kids deserve the opportunity to create their own play spaces for themselves? Of course they do!