Wood chips and wood shavings are amazing loose parts available in many colors, textures, and sizes. Children invite these little hunks of wood into all kinds of play and exploration. Kids dig in them, haul them, throw them, kick them, use them as props in dramatic play and small world play, and more.
A while back I started saving those plastic rolls at the center of GeeGee and Slinky's poop bags thinking that in bulk they might make interesting loose parts. GeeGeeSlinky Since all the the two of them really do is sleep, destroy perennial plants while playing, and poop, I built up a decent collection of poop … Continue reading Loose Parts Ideas | Poop Bag Roll Cores
Biodegradable cornstarch packing peanuts are great loose parts for creative projects, dramatic play, and sensory play. (FYI: Cornstarch seems to be the preferred starch used in biodegradable packing peanuts, but soy based starch and other materials are used.) The novel thing about them is that with a little moisture they will stick together--and with a … Continue reading Loose Parts Ideas | Cornstarch Packing Peanuts
I salvaged these sweet loose parts from a lamp that'd been dead in our basement for years. I imagine them being used in water, sand, and other sensory play. They also make effective megaphones--I tested one out by tooting rude noises at my dogs. I'm also guessing they'd be used in dramatic play, block play, … Continue reading Loose Parts Ideas | Plastic Lamp Shades
Mud--what's not to love. All around the world it is a favorite squishy, slimy, messy loose part of children.
As the old saying goes, "When life gives you a dead refrigerator, make loose parts." Wait, that's not the saying...it's something to do with lemons...but let's get back on topic. A busted refrigerator is a loose part gold mine if you've got a bit of time and a few tools. I had the assistance of … Continue reading Loose Parts Ideas | Refrigerator Parts
String. It's a readily available loose part that can be used in dramatic play, craft projects, STEM experiments, block play, and more. Check out our collection of string games for some string play ideas.
How many ways could children use these dandy items as loose parts in their play? Frozen or not, they are exciting variable to add to your play environment. Photo with yellow background by Amanda Shroyer
Metal springs offer up the possibility of rich and deep STEM play and learning as kids explore their novel properties. Top row photos by Amanda Shroyer
Buttons will spark all kinds of novel play: They'll be used for sorting, lacing, craft projects, dramatic play, and more. Bottom right photo by Amanda Shroyer
Kids will figure out all kinds of ways to use bobbins in their play. They'll stack them, roll them, string them, use them as dramatic play props, and more.
With some proper supervision, rope is a great loose part that supports all kinds of learning. Kids will pull it, jump it, twist it, tie it, and more.