Kids really get to know the environment if they can dig it, beat it, swat it, lift it, push it, join it, combine different things with it. This is what adults call creative activity...a process of imagination and environment working together.
- Robin Moore
Loose parts and I have been best friends since way before I even knew that loose parts were an actual thing.
The small, progressive preschool I chose for my boys - and later - for myself had an outdoor space rich in loose parts - both natural and man made. The children had ready access to all manner of sticks, planks of wood, bricks, stones, mesh, fabric, rope, tyres, tree cookies, crates, sand, dirt and mud and - here is the important part - the time and permission to use them in whatever direction their imaginations, creativity and curiosity took them.
Do you know what I noticed? Children engaged for long periods of rich, co-operative play. Curiosity sparked and imaginations ignited they followed their own interests for days, and in some cases months. Children became expert problem solvers and dispute resolvers. There was very little need for "supervision" in terms of behaviour management challenges which was the norm in other centres I had worked at.
My eyes were opened to the power of loose parts. I started to sing their praises on my blog, and at last count there were 50 odd posts on loose parts alone. Why? What the children did with loose parts knocked my socks off, every single day.
|Making traps continued for months on end.|