Everything You Need to Know About Loose Parts Pt.2

Posted by Kaly Town on

Prepare the Environment 

Before we explore with loose parts we prepare the environment. The beautiful presentation of materials is the child’s invitation to play. The space should be intriguing and inspiring. It should encourage investigation and spark new questions. The set up should prompt the child to examine, participate, touch and feel. Clutter should be removed so the child is able to create on a clean canvas. We like to offer a simple mat or tray to organize the work space.

However, the child is able to move the parts where they wish. Displaying the materials in beautiful boxes, shallow trays, glass jars and baskets are nice ways for the child to see all the materials they can work with.

We like to offer mirrors, books, paper and pencils to extend learning and foster imagination.

Dr. Montessori said, “The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence. Young children must use their hands to connect and engage their mind with what they are learning. They must manipulate, touch, handle, move and explore objects in their environment in order to understand the world around them. Children are often seen touching everything that meets their eye. This is the obvious expression of their sensorial tendencies. They seem to recognize things more certainly when they touch them rather than just seeing them.” (The Discovery of the Child)

This is why the adult must encourage free exploration rather than inhibit it. Children need adults who facilitate creative expression. Be a creative partner who follows your child’s lead rather than impose your own ideas. Provide time and space for creative expression. Model creative thinking. Recognize and value creative thinking.

Prompts to Use During Loose Parts Play

Talk about the building process and make value statements on:

  • Colour
  • Line
  • Mass or Volume
  • Pattern
  • Shape
  • Texture

Encourage self directed play by asking open ended questions that draw out conversation instead of yes or no answers:

  • Tell me about ...
  • What do you think of...
  • I wonder what would happen if...
  • What do you think would happen if...
  • Let’s find a new use for...
  • How else can we ...
  • Tell me all the ways...
  • What would it be like if...
  • Imagine if...
  • What if...
  • What can we add to...
  • Let’s predict...
  • Let’s invent...
  • Let’s create...
  • Let’s combine...
  • Let’s rearrange...

Here are some more set up suggestions you can incorporate in your loose parts play





That’s everything you need to know about loose parts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Unplug and begin creating! 


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2 comments

  • Very intriguing presentation. The write up catches the reader’s interest and keeps him hooked. I am sure children as well as adults would be drawn in into the beautiful prepared environment.
    Fantastic job!

    Naina Bagga on
  • Visually enticing – can see how it would inspire and intrigue little hands and little minds.

    Lydia on

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