Coconuts are one of those loose parts that are hard to come by in many locations and literally falling off the trees in others. I grew up in one of those places where they were not readily available and, because I watched a lot of Gilligan’s Island, I was eager to get my hands on one.

They popped up in the grocery store once in a while, and I finally convinced my mom to buy one. I must have been about eight. I drilled a hole in it, drained it, and sampled the water. Then I hammered it open and gnawed on the meat. I wasn’t too impressed and had no idea how to turn it into a pie. The mesocarp and endocarp were shattered by the hammer and useless for making a telephone, or cup, or hamster house, or all those other things the professor came up with on the island.

Photo by Phu Thinh Co via Flickr

Anyway, coconuts are interesting loose parts that can spark play and exploration…and–eventually–fond memories.


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Jeff Johnson is an early learning trainer, podcaster, and author and the founder of Explorations Early Learning and Playvolution HQ.

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