The ten items I have listed are a suggestion, inspiration to show how any kind of simple item can be used over and over again. So have fun going on a loose parts hunt in your home, recycling, garage, and in nature. Because remember loose parts are everywhere! I have a FREE Loose Parts Guide, get your copy HERE
For a gentle reminder of what an invitation to play is, for those who maybe hearing this term for the first time, an invitation to play is simply that, an invite. It is meant to spark children's interest, to create an intrinsically motivated desire to play. Setting the items out with specific materials or in a certain area can speak for you, but children will always have their own ideas to explore the items. Following their lead is so important because it provides opportunities for them to make decisions, think creatively, and problem solve which are skills we all need for life!
Let's get to discovering how you can use the same 10 loose parts in
5 different invitations to play!
All of the 10 loose parts chosen have vast potential for counting, patterns, sorting, and much more. I chose to create this invitation to play on a smaller table to encourage creating a learning space for small groups or even individuals. The book here is filled with images of numbers from unique items found outside, such as 8 from an iron fence! Loose parts in our community!
Loose parts are magical and can create beautiful intricate pieces of art. Messing about with the items, trying new ideas, problem solving, interacting with peers are all wonderful benefits of playing with loose parts. I created this invitation to play and create art on the floor for a group of children and to encourage gross motor skills such as balancing, lying on your stomach, crossing the midline to build core muscles.
Children love to make special dishes and act out everyday routines from their lives. Adding loose parts to your house area allows ANY kind of dish to be created and for the children to share their family lives with each other. Rich language is used to fill their stories, and the play is limitless! I added in different textured and coloured placemats, unique tea pots, ceramic milk and sugar set, and real kitchen utensils. These items bring so much sensorial stimulation to their play that helps the children self-regulate.
So there you have it, 5 invitations to play with the same 10 Loose Parts!
Would love to hear what loose parts you have found and how you are introducing them into your program! Comment below or feel free to share photos in the facebook group, All Things Early Years!
I am an Early Childhood Educator and very passionate about supporting and inspiring my fellow Educators. I will share my reflections and experiences about implementing my philosophy, views, and ideas into my practice.