Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ideas for adding natural elements to your outdoor play space - Part 3

Welcome to the third post in the series Ideas for Adding Natural Elements to your Outdoor Playscape.

The simplest way to include natural play elements outdoors is by adding natural loose parts.

Loose parts - stones, logs, seeds, branches, leaves, tree cookies, sticks - are the heroes of children's playscapes

Image from Aspetuck Land Trust Blog
And seriously, is there anything cheaper or easier to add to your outdoor area?  It can be as simple as an arrangement of bark or leaves:

Or a collection of sticks, branches and logs:

For a list of suggested natural loose parts, have a look at Loose Parts: What does This Mean?

We store our loose parts in crates and containers so they are easily accessible and freely available at all times. 

Here are some of the other ways I have found preschools around the globe store their loose parts in the playground:

From How Long is This Hall

Teacher Tom
Here are some other folks who have been talking about loose parts lately:

::: This Whole Entire Thing is Real @ The Learning Landscape
::: Need Loose Parts?  Well, the Beach Provides @ Images of Learning Project
::: Why we Love Loose Parts @ Play Paves the Way
::: That's What Friends Do Together @ Teacher Tom

And here are some other places on Let the Children Play where you can find loose part inspiration:

::: Tree Cookies (or Tree Biscuits or Disks)
::: Create a Natural Playscape in Your Own Backyard
::: Just Add Loose Parts
::: Celebrating Loose Parts in the Preschool Playground

What natural loose parts do you have in your outdoor play area?

Come back tomorrow for Part 4 in this series.
.  They help children solve problems, be creative, co-operate, move things around, imagine, invent and organize in ways that will amaze you.

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