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5 Benefits of Loose Parts

Oh loose parts, how we love you! You are open-ended, you inspire creativity, you empower and support growth.

Children who play with Loose Parts benefit tremendously from the open-ended, non-prescriptive nature of these materials. Loose Parts can be used however a child sees fit, in whatever way speaks to them in that moment. What a sense of power! To have control over the materials you are using.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of loose parts play is the lack of adult-imposed goals or outcomes. Children get to determine the content of their play which allows them to follow their own instincts, ideas, and interests.

“... children learn through self-directed play. This kind of play is complex, pleasurable, self-motivated, imaginative, spontaneous, creative, and happily free of adult-imposed goals and outcomes.” (Daly & Beloglovsky, 2005).

Have you ever tried making a suggestion about your child’s play that they weren’t interested in? I certainly have. And it reminds me that children have their own, incredibly valuable ideas that don’t need to be restricted by my own! Their voices deserve to be heard, and through play is perhaps the most powerful way to hear them. Loose parts play allows children to use their voices and learn without the (often unintentional) restrictions that the adult voice can add.

Here are 5 more phenomenal benefits to Loose Parts play:

Bring on the creativity and innovation! Children become fearless investigators when they play with loose parts. Their wonderings lead to experimenting which leads to creating and innovating. They are designers and researchers making discoveries!

Open endedness breeds diverse thinking! There is no right or wrong way to play with loose parts. This flexibility in use and purpose encourages children to think outside the box.

Children’s learning is extended through loose parts! Loose parts provide opportunities for children to handle, build, rebuild, and re-create their ideas and experiences. Their growth and development in all areas is supported in this way.

Early math skills? Oh yes! Manipulating loose parts inevitably leads to sorting, classifying, combining, and separating; all of which are numerical concepts leading to early understandings of math!

Children can create complex stories and scripts! Loose parts encourage dramatic and symbolic play both inside and out. Children have the chance to embody the worlds of their imagination using loose parts as props.

The benefits of Loose Parts play are numerous and incredibly inspiring to see in action.

If you’re thinking about introducing loose parts in your home or classroom, visit our other blog post called “How do I Choose the “Right” Loose Parts?” to help you get started!

(This post was inspired by the incredible work of Lisa Daly & Miriam Beloglovsky)

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