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Loose parts are materials in nursery that children can use freely to create and explore. The materials have no directions and no instructions.

Loose parts play supports children's cognitive development supporting curiosity, imagination and creativity. Playing with loose parts gives children more control over their own self-directed play. With loose parts children can make, build, touch, feel and adapt.

The introduction of movable and recycled materials in the outdoor area has a positive impact on children's activity levels. 

Loose parts can be found in natural environments: beaches, woods, parks and gardens, in households and in schools.

Nature

Metal

Creative

Wood

Acorns

Baking trays

Beads

Building blocks

Bamboo

Bottle tops

Cork

Curtain rings

Earth

CDs

Cardboard Boxes

Dolly pegs

Feathers

Cooking utensils

Yoghurt Pots

Drift wood

Leaves

Muffin tins

Glass Stones

Pastry brush

Mud

Spoons

Wrapping Paper/Glue

Spoons

Pinecones

 

 

Sticks

Pebbles

Household

 Building

 

Sand

Basin

 Cable ties

 

Shells

Blanket

 Crates 

 

Sticks

Basket

 Guttering 

 

Stones

Buckets

 Hammer/Nails

 

Tree stumps

Cardboard

 Hose

 

Twigs

Clothes pegs

 Paint brush

 

 

Foam sponges

 Planks of wood 

 

 

Sieve

 Tyres

 

 

Loose parts can be used to stimulate the senses

Sound

Empty glass jar or plastic bottle with lid, add in: small stones/dried pasta/rice/buttons/pulses etc  screw lid on and you have a noise maker

Touch

Zip lock bag and add: hair gel/conditioner then add in small beads/glitter. Zip back up and play

Smell

Draw string bags add in: fresh lavender/fresh herbs/fresh flowers

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