Loose Parts Amazing Tools for Learning

posted 1/6/22 -- Loose parts are a wonderful way to stimulate your child’s imagination. The endless ways to use the materials will keep your child busy for hours!

Like the open-ended toys LCCAA Head Start recommends for gifts, loose parts can be played with in a wide variety of ways. Loose parts are the ultimate open-ended toy because they can be found in the home and in nature, which is good news for your wallet.

Our curriculum, Creative Curriculum, encourages the use of loose parts such as stones, keys, bottle caps and other found objects that are interesting to children. The parts can be used to sort, count, build or even in art collages.

LCCAA Head Start teachers received training at the beginning of the month from Lisa Daly who has written several books on using loose parts. These activities easily extend to the home environment.

To stimulate your child’s creativity, take a basket around your home or outdoors to create a collection of things that are interesting to him or her. Let your child lead you, only prohibiting items that are too small (choking hazard) or unsafe in other ways.

Loose parts can be found in every part of the house and can be as big as a blanket or as small as a cupcake liner. After you have gathered a variety of items, the next thing you need is time. Allow your child the time to explore, experiment with and find ways to use the gathered materials.

Ask your child’s teacher for ideas on how to use loose parts. You can also look for Daly’s books at your local library.