Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Loose parts

In 1972, architect Simon Nicholson developed the Theory of Loose Parts; the idea that loose parts, materials which can be moved around, designed and redesigned, and tinkered with; create infinitely more opportunities for creative engagement than static materials and environments. Basically, the more materials there are the more people can interact.

‘In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.’ 
~ Simon Nicholson, Architect

Loose parts in our kindergarten environment empower children's creativity. They are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials.There are many reasons why children’s play spaces should include a multitude of loose parts. Children use their imagination to create and construct, they are able to use loose parts in any way they choose. They help children develop skills and competence as they adapt and manipulate the loose parts in many different ways. Loose parts can be used in combination with other materials to support imagination and they help encourage open ended learning. Children share ideas, negotiate and learn to compromise in group situations.

                 Noah creates a lion den with tree fern and branches

    And catches one!
                                             Ayva makes a lion trap

                     Finn creates a bridge using springs
 Tukaea, Acacia and Finn work together                    
Finn and Tukaea complete the bridge

Florrie, Caoimhe and Ciara create using small pebbles

Joseph, Cody and Theo transport the stumps to protect the feijoa tree

Liam looks through a piece of banana palm
I can see you! Finn

Cobie and Ayva create a house

Jacob and Jayde use the hoops to throw balls to each other

Noah and Archie create a boat

Archie, Dunixi, Ayva and Jacob work together  on the design

Bo and Jayde add the final touches to their space ship
Camille creates a spring chain.

Acacia, Jacob, Shae and Bo create a long snake

Loose parts engage children to be creative together.
Children have opportunities to negotiate and work together.

Leon problem solves using a rope to create a swing on a tree.
Arlo challenges himself with the help of a rope. 

‘Loose parts’ theory is about remembering that the best play comes from things that allow
children to play in many different ways and on many different levels. Environments that
include ‘loose parts’ are infinitely more stimulating and engaging that static ones. The
play environment needs to promote and support imaginative play though the provision of
‘loose parts’ in a way that doesn’t direct play and play opportunities, but allows children to develop their own ideas and explore their world.


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