One of my favourite things about our Kindergarten programs this spring has been to watch how loose parts are used by the various groups. It is truly amazing to see the multiplicity of permutations that can come from piles of materials used in different ways by different little brains and communities of imagination.
Coined by architect Simon Nicholson in the 1970s, the theory of loose parts play claims that we are all creative and that loose parts in an environment will empower our creativity.
During loose parts play, children are exploring possibilities, moving, carrying, manipulating, designing, combining, with no specific directions or outcome.
We have an old bread baking pan with various natural items. These items are an invitation to create, design, and play. Look at some of the creations made from these materials!
Snails and shells are popular items in their creations, and often end up being creatures or families of creatures.
In the photos below, two girls are using sticks and branches to recreate the climbing structure that was behind them. Truly creative and observant!
The Stick-lets and bamboo area is another popular area for budding builders. Children design 3-D shapes like pyramids, cubes, and rectangular prisms. But the most popular structure is a tent!
From the play area, our use of loose parts extends into the forest. Planting gardens, designing art pieces, building pretend campfires, creating log cabins... the options are endless!
"Kids really get to know the environment when they can dig it, beat it, swat it, lift it, join it, push it, combine different things with it. This is what adults call creative activity . . . a process of environment and imagination working together." ~ Robin Moore
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play