This week I got to choose the theme "Loose Parts" for our insta-community to "get creative with" and there were some fantastic ideas, but I'll share those later in the post.
|Tinker Tray from Invitation to Play|
There's no right or wrong way to play with loose parts, but there are endless possibilities. They are great for fine motor development and learning mathematical concepts such as sorting, patterning, shape and colour. It encourages creativity and there's no right or wrong like with a pencil on paper - the creations are transient - meaning they are non-permanent, constantly changing and evolving during the play. (Read more about Transient Art with Loose Parts - here)
So to start you off (or just give you a little inspo) here's a list of loose parts you might like to start collecting...
- pebbles, gems, marbles
- bottle tops, lids
- popsticks, matchsticks
- gum nuts, sticks, flowers, leaves
- pipe cleaners
- pom poms
- google eyes
- nuts and bolts
Also consider play dough, sand, a mirror or paper with lines and patterns for the children to use as a guide or a frame for their play creations. Lovely baskets and boxes are a great addition as well.
But a great alternative for babies to explore loose parts in a safe sensory way is just to pop the items in a discovery bottle. Then they can look, see and hear with no risk.
For toddlers, try colour sorting with larger loose parts and every day objects. It's also a great way to practise counting skills.
Take care everyone!