© 2019 by The Roslyn Trinity Cooperative Day School

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Loose Parts Play

What is loose parts play?

  • Loose parts refers to any collection of open- ended natural or man-made materials.

  • Loose parts are provided to children without any specific instructions or goals. Children are free to tinker with, arrange, build, design, invent, and take apart loose parts.

  • Children decide what materials to use and how to use them.

Why is loose parts play a part of our curriculum?

  • Playing with loose parts requires more creativity and imagination than playing with many commercial toys that are popular today. The possibilities are endless with a pile of popsicle sticks, paper towel rolls and string in a way they are not with a battery driven toy.

  • Since no directions are given, children develop planning, flexibility, and problem solving skills as they experiment with materials.

  • Children develop social skills as they collaborate with their peers and share their discoveries with each other.

  • Children develop self-esteem and independence as they come to see themselves as inventors and creators.

  • Loose parts play provides a range of sensory experiences and opportunities to develop fine motor skills.

Examples of gross motor play in our school:

  • Children invented, tinkered, and created with a collection of popsicle sticks and binder clips.

  • Children created mosaics, towers, and other structures with a collection of rocks.

  • Children invented with cardboard boxes, tubes, and string.

Loose Parts Play in Action

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