The Theory of Loose Parts

23 Feb 2018

The Theory of Loose Parts

“Whether it be old cardboard boxes, wooden pallets, pieces of wood, old tyres, bits of rope or string, kids will use their imagination and ingenuity to make something.” – Simon Nicholson

Loose parts are materials that can be moved around, combined, redesigned, lined up, put together and taken apart in multiple ways. Loose parts can be natural and found (sticks, dirt, shells, and pebbles) or manufactured and recycled (rope, fabric, containers, and boxes). Loose parts don’t have a right or wrong way for use. This allows them to come to life in the hands and imaginations of our children. 

Simon Nicholson put forward the idea that the more loose parts there are in an environment, the more creative potential it has. If we want to create a rich feast of an environment for our children’s play, we need to add the essential raw ingredients - loose parts!

Children are amazing learners and explorers, with heads full of curiosity, imagination and big ideas and they are drawn to the materials that offer a world of possibilities for their play. We can honour their play choices and support their learning by creating dynamic and flexible learning environments with a rich array of loose parts at their disposal. The greater the number and diversity of the loose parts, the greater the opportunities for children to explore, combine, transform, create!

We will be using recycled, reclaimed and improvised materials from our campus to provide wonderful creative learning opportunities.