We believe that children need and deserve a high quality beginning in order to positively develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Children thrive in environments where they feel a sense of belonging and joy and when there are opportunities for risk, inquiry, wonder, and creativity. Additionally, high quality beginnings include strong, positive relationships with peers and adults. Loose Parts support high quality beginnings through active learning. Active learning means: children control materials rather than the material controls the child; children decide what they are going to do with the materials and how they are going to use them; children can use materials in multiple ways.
Loose Parts allow for children to explore and develop socially. Not only do children interact with materials, but they interact with one another sharing stories, creating dramatizations, and building relationships. Children need to learn how to live in a world of relationships in order to be successful later in life. Loose Parts help with collaboration, communication, and negotiation.
How do we work together to accomplish our goal? What if we have competing goals?
Play with Loose Parts promote self-awareness, identity formation, self-regulation, expressing feelings, and empathy. When given objects with larger play possibilities, children can use their imaginations and creativity to work through real-life scenarios they experience. Children need to process all their experiences: natural disasters, moving home, family illness, medical treatments, death, new sibling, violence, starting a new school.
There's a new baby at home and I am learning to care for them. There are fires in my neighborhood and I need to protect the animals.
Play is the work of childhood and Loose Parts optimize play. Play is about self-discovery, not teacher directed instruction. Loose Parts support problem solving and critical thinking, inquiry, and opportunity for children to test out their ideas and theories. Playing with these materials can help children gain an understanding of measurement, weight, comparison, velocity, balance, and so many more mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts. Additionally, symbolic representation- basis for reading and writing- is enhanced because children use Loose Parts as symbols for other objects and meaning.
This is the cake (mud) I made for dinner! How can we move across the yard without touching the lava (sand)?
Play with Loose Parts supports large motor development as children transport large river rocks and jump from tree stump to tree stump. Fine motor skills are enhanced as children squeeze loofahs, throw hair rollers, and align buttons. Additionally, perceptual-motor skills (senses and how one's body moves) develop as children navigate all spaces around them and interact with objects that have various textures, sounds, colors, scents, and taste.
This ball is sticky. I can jump from the log into the hoop! Why does this smell sweet?