By Gaie...Guest Blogger
In the 1970's architect Simon Nicholson coined the term 'loose parts' to describe materials that can be moved, stacked, lifted and carried in play as a way to promote creativity and critical thinking skills in young children. There is nothing new about loose parts! They have always been around, but only recently through further research has the true value of loose parts in child development become widely accepted and, in fact, necessary in childhood play.
Loose parts can be of many different sizes and shapes. They can be soft, hard, wet or dry.
Loose parts are engaging...
and when children are engaged they are learning through experimenting and discovering.
'With all these things all children love to play, experiment, discover and invent and have fun', Simon Nicholson, The Theory of Loose Parts, p.5.
Loose parts foster rich, self-directed, open-ended creative play.
It is critical that these materials can be freely moved from one areato another.
Loose parts are an integral part of a 'learning through play' preschool program...
which in turn influences the growth and development of the children intellectually,
The long and the short of it - loose parts play helps to guide the way to success in school and in life.
They are fun, exciting and readily available...often even free! Have fun collecting your own loose parts for exceptionally creative outdoor play!
It's an honour and a privilege to not only be working, again, with our amazing Dianne, but to also be a part of Victoria's ground breaking, first outdoor play group - Stomping In The Mud! As a long time Early Childhood Educator, a friend and co-worker of Dianne's I, too, support play-based learning for young children in the outdoors. It's unscheduled, it's unplanned and it's unplugged - it's fabulous!