Loose Parts Play

The theory of “loose parts” first proposed by architect Simon Nicholson in the 1970’s.  Loose parts are items and materials that children can move, adapt, combine, invent, construct, evaluate and modify their own ideas through play.  When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of ‘what if’ that encourages thinking that leads to problem solving. Studies show that children prefer playing with loose parts such as water, sticks, sand, ropes and boxes as they can use their imagination and have greater control in their play. It is an approach to play that allows children to explore and create as they wish; there is no right or wrong, no boundaries and no adult intervention.

We provide an array of loose parts for use in play such as stones,  sand,  fabric, twigs, wood, pallets, balls, buckets, baskets, crates, boxes, logs and tyres to name a few. Having “loose parts” available allows children to use these materials as they choose. Often you will find that children would rather play with materials that they can use and adapt as they please, rather than expensive pieces of play equipment.

Encouraging children to use resources as they choose can provide a wider range of opportunities than one that is purely adult led. Children playing with loose parts are using creativity, imagination and are developing skills and competence.