Loose Parts Play

Loose Parts Play

*Always supervise children with loose parts as the are a possible choking hazard*

We love loose parts play it is one of our most favourite ways to play.

Loose parts is the theory that loose parts in our environment empower our creativity.

This thought was first proposed back in the 1970’s by architect Simon Nicholson.


Loose parts can be natural or synthetic we have a combination of both in our home. Each get the same amount of play. As Miss Dot uses them all for different reasons and different activities.

Loose parts are open ended materials that can be lined up, moved around, carried, combined, redesigned, taken apart, put back together in multiple ways. The possibilities with loose parts really can be endless to a child they can absolutely anything they want them to be.

For instance have you ever seen your child become completely fascinated and make up games and activities with a piece of string a button or a stick. They are all forms of loose parts play. That amazing open ended imaginary play.

Examples of natural loose parts:

  • Sticks
  • Coffee beans
  • Shells
  • Wooden beads
  • Wooden buttons
  • Leaves
  • Rocks
  • Small logs
  • Seeds
  • Flowers

We got this amazing box of natural loose parts from Invitation To Play


Examples of synthetic loose parts:

  • Pom poms
  • Sequins
  • Buttons
  • Beads
  • Mini erasers
  • Sticks
  • Small plastic animals
  • Match sticks
  • Wishing stones
  • Feathers
  • Buttons

Most of these items can be found at your $2 shop.

We absolutely adore loose parts play in our home. I love how it lets little ones really express themselves and explore their imagination. Miss Dot is always coming up with new creations and games.

Some of our favourite things to use our loose parts with are:

  • Play dough
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Contact paper

We also love to include them in our small worlds.

Loose parts promote:

  • Decision making
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory play
Suitable for:
Children who don’t mouth things
*always supervise children with loose parts as they can be choking hazards*