Monday, March 28, 2011

celebrating loose parts in the preschool playground

I know, you are probably thinking:

"Here she goes again, banging on about the value of loose parts play."

I can't help it.

I've never worked in a preschool before where the kids have access to so many loose materials along with all the freedom and time they need to create with them. 

It makes my teacher's heart sing to see how engaged the kids are each day, adding to what they created the day before or tearing it all down and starting again.

Check out what the kids can create in an afternoon using wood, sticks, plastic pots, rocks, paving bricks, rope, mesh and tree cookies:

Materials are selected and loaded into their wheelbarrows. Kind of like a drive through building yard, don't you think?

And then its time to build. 
The team work that goes on is a sight to behold.

All in a day's work.

Nov, here are some of those other posts where I bang on about loose parts:


  1. I agree - we'd be lost without loose parts! .

  2. Totally agree with your philosophy. Playing with loose parts can give wings to their imagination like nothing else can...

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  4. Jenny-
    It is odd that so many folks remember to give children loose parts and materials inside, but they forget the value of having them outside too! Thanks for the reminder and for inspiring more folks to expand options for children outside! I'm sure your ears will be ringing this upcoming week... I'll be talking a lot about you on Friday and Saturday!!!!!

  5. Loose parts play should be an essential element of any playground, schoolyard, back garden etc but alongside that we need to educate/re-educate parents, teachers, support staff and grown ups in general that the creations(and most importantly the process involved in creating them) are worthy,important and hugely valuable to the children and young people who make them.

    So keep on banging-we all need to!!

  6. ha! i drove my family past my preschool's playground this week and my husband said:

    woa! who dumped their trash in there?

    uh, not trash! loose parts! favorites as of late: yogurt containers and huge cardboard tubes. : )

  7. Last week, one of my parents, trying to be helpful, started patrolling the outdoor classroom, collecting loose parts that she thought were trash. I was in the middle of teaching and couldn't think of a "polite" way to tell her to STOP!

    Fortunately, she left the bag right atop a trash can in the classroom. Indeed, she had found a few things that qualified as trash, but a toy rocket? Wine corks? A plastic crown just the size for a squirrel? A salt shaker shaped like a VW Golf? C'mon. I salvaged that stuff and re-scattered it around the courtyard in the hopes that she won't later see those things and think her work was for naught.

  8. I love the idea of adding loose parts to the play yard. I'll have to see what I can find to add to our play space.

  9. can i come work at your school? simply perfect!

  10. This is wonderful! I love that you encourage creative play with natural materials.

  11. This is very cool. I remember doing similar things when I was a kid. Must sort out something similar for my kids.

  12. love this! i found your blog by searching for information on the theory of loose parts. I love what you're doing, and hope I can someday find a school for my daughter that values this kind of play & learning!