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Taking Loose Parts Play Outside

What’s big, and wide, and full of interesting things?

The great outdoors!

Taking play outdoors adds a whole load of incredible variety, intrigue, and wonder to our childrens’ play.

Plus, nature offers us SO MANY loose parts.

Here’s an easy list of some of our favourite natural loose parts:




Maple Keys







Seems pretty straight forward, right? Step outside and see what sparks interest with your child!

Those natural loose parts can become whatever your child wants them to be. Maybe the grass makes a delicious sandwich and the rock becomes a beloved pet.

"Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees." - Richard Louv

To extend the play, you can add a few materials for transferring (like containers, shovels, tongs) or things to create with (paint, pastels, elastics). Adding a liquid like water or a simple cornstarch goop can really change the way that children interact with the materials.

Just remember: when removing things from nature, think about whether or not they are being used by the animals and insects who live near you. Only remove things that have already fallen.

And most importantly, have fun!

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