+64 27 355 9396
03 355 9396
ST ALBANS COMMUNITY PRESCHOOL
Where Great Minds Are Encouraged Through Rich Play Experiences
LEARNING THROUGH LOOSE PARTS
Possibly one of the oldest kinds of play in the history of mankind, loose parts play is a spontaneous and creative way in which children engage with their environment. The term “loose parts” was coined by a British architect, Simon Nicholson, to describe materials which are used in an open-ended way. Creativity and discovery, according to Nicholson, depend on the presence of the variables available in the environment.
In loose parts play children interact with, and manipulate, a unique collection of items or “parts”. These parts can be completely unrelated and their size and nature can vary depending on the users and setting. They can be offered by a teacher or spontaneously collected by children.
Playing and experimenting with open-ended materials encourages creativity and imagination. New skills in planning, communication and problem solving are developed - and because there is no prescribed way to use the parts, children make the decisions. They learn, through play, at the level that they are ready for - and naturally stretch themselves by setting their own goals and challenges.
Loose parts play can be solitary or happen in a group of any size. It can start small, with a box or basket of odd items, but be prepared for your collection to take on a life of its own, run over into new sets, and become a firm favourite towards a goal.
Loose parts play is a wonderful way for young explorers to plan, create, solve problems, and to challenge themselves to learn new skills. A good collection of odd parts can be the start of many imaginative adventures and projects.