The theory of ‘Loose Parts’ was proposed in the 1970’s by architect Simon Nicholson who believed that it is the loose parts in our environment that empower our creativity. In an early learning environment loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. The materials can be natural such as sand, twigs, shells, seed pods and stones or manufactured such as rope, tyres, fabric, boxes and other ‘junk” items.
In 2015 at the College, we have a new shed which is full of exciting recycled things for the children to play with. Each play time a class group from Years 1 and 2 is rostered to play with all the things. The idea is that the children have lots of opportunities for creative play. These loose part items develop more skills and competence than most modern plastic toys and encourage open ended learning and imagination. Research has shown that children who are happily engaged at play time have a much better experience at school: learning through play is introduced; inclusion for all children is significantly enhanced; improvement in the development of critical skills; and improved children’s social interactions and self-confidence. We look forward to seeing ongoing benefits for our children.