The world of loose parts play


Loose Part Play

The idea of ‘Loose Parts’ has influenced child-play experts and has allowed us to explore different ways children learn. Loose Parts are materials that can be moved, carried, lined up, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. The list of possible Loose Parts is endless but can include anything from stones to sand and seashells to tyres and crates!

Loose Parts in the environment will empower the creativity and imagination of children and extend their vocabulary. Opportunities to explore with Loose Parts will promote discussion with peers and adults and help with communication and negotiation skills and encourage open ended learning where they can invent, construct, evaluate and modify their own ideas through play.

Having Loose Parts available in the play space or encourage engagement of Loose Parts when out and about will allow children to use the materials as they choose to reflect the world around them and encourage conversation based on the child’s interests.

You can collect groups of loose parts and put some in small baskets for a children to explore. You can even gather some loose parts for outside that are bigger such as sticks, bricks, and stones. You may even explore these types of objects when you are at the beach, park or woods - they are all around us.

Please note it is important to make sure that you child is playing with loose parts that are appropriate for their age and behaviour. Young children tend to put things in their mouth to explore, so some loose parts might be a choking hazard.

Ideas for small loose part play

Velcro rollers
sticks and shells

Top Tip

Explore the loose parts with your child. Join them on their learning, follow their lead and comment on what they are doing. This will not only build their confidence to explore but you will also be develop their language and communication skills.
Play helps develop language. To learn more click here.
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Age Groups

Find more games, resources, tips and links for your child's age group here.

Games & Resources

Take a look at more of our resources and games to help your child learn through play.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Get in touch

For further support or advice, please feel free to contact us on the email address below.
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A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

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