Loose parts are a wonderful tool that can provide hours of open-ended, imaginative play. Incorporating a variety of different loose parts during play time can open children up to a world of infinite opportunities to think and create.
In essence, loose parts have no specific goal. There aren't any restrictions on how to use them, no instruction guide; they're pure open-ended toys that can be anything a child wants them to be. They can be moved, arranged, taken apart and manipulated in many different ways. This idea can be a bit perplexing to us adults, but I tell you, kids are far more intelligent than us in that they see no limits when it comes to playing possibilities.
Loose parts can be made up from just about anything you can find. From things you pick up during your walk, or even any bits and bobs around the house. (Think bottle caps, ribbons, sea shells, leaves, twigs, beads, bowls...) you get it, literally anything!
When played with by itself, there's no end to what loose parts can become. They can also be so useful when paired together with other toys. A handful of loose parts can become a fish, swimming in a sea of wooden waves stackers, or flowers in a pot, or even decorations on a 'cake'. These wooden pieces can provide different learning experiences, over and over again.
Other benefits of incorporating loose parts into your child's play include:
- Building confidence
- Encouraging creativity and imagination
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Hand-eye coordination, control and strength
- Concepts of stability, balance and gravity
- Focus and attention
- Symbolic thinking
- Identifying patterns, colours and shapes
- Sorting and classifying
The great thing about our Loose Parts Surprise Bag is that it can be enjoyed by kids of all ages, there is no shelf life!
Older children can benefit from these loose parts by using them to build and incorporate into their small world play. While younger ones (with adult supervision) can use them to learn basic counting and colour sorting while improving their fine motor skills.
Are loose parts something you incorporate into your child's play? If so, we'd love to hear how!