In his original October 1971 article outlining the Theory of Loose Parts, Simon Nicholson, explains that loose parts are variables in an environment that spark inventiveness, creativity, and discovery. These environmental variables--ranging from pretty shells, to loose bricks, to seagulls--serve as springboards for explorations, props for play, and tools for discovery. They help children unspool … Continue reading Avoid Making Loose Parts Less Loose
A Systematic Review of Research into the Impact of Loose Parts Play on Children’s Cognitive, Social and Emotional Development:
I'm generally not a sentimental or emotional kinda guy, but this afternoon I came down with a case of The Feels.
For nearly 25 years, the yard on the south side of my home was a children's play space. First for my children, then for the kids in our family child care program, then for my granddaughter and grandson. Last fall, the grand kids and their parents moved out of our house and into their own--4.5 hours away.
"Mum! I found a wiggle!" he shouted with glee while pausing to test and re-test the wiggle--standing on the brick and shifting his body weight from side to side.
“Seagulls on every playground,” may sound like a great idea, but it’s a tad impractical--and it’d drive child care licensing agencies nuts when you consider all the gull poo and the large body of open water that’d become necessary at each location.
According to Nicholson, loose parts are variables, and in his eyes, the, "definition goes beyond open-ended materials to include phenomena such as music, gravity, and playing with words, concepts and ideas and much more. This is considerably broader than natural, junk and recycled materials. We need to be mindful of the breadth of possibilities."
According to Nicholson "The theory of loose parts says, quite, simply, the following: 'In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kinds of variables in it.'"
Bits and Pieces of Loose and Lost parts are all the rage right now at Discovery Early Learning Center. Treasure hunting is what the children are calling it and it's filled with imagination, detailed storylines, and loose parts as props to extend the narrative. I have only noticed this way of play since I let go … Continue reading Let Loose!