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Loose parts are materials in nursery that children can use freely to create and explore. The materials have no directions and no instructions.

Loose parts play supports children's cognitive development supporting curiosity, imagination and creativity. Playing with loose parts gives children more control over their own self-directed play. With loose parts children can make, build, touch, feel and adapt.

The introduction of movable and recycled materials in the outdoor area has a positive impact on children's activity levels. 

Loose parts can be found in natural environments: beaches, woods, parks and gardens, in households and in schools.

Nature

Metal

Wood

Acorns

Baking trays

Building blocks

Bamboo

Bottle tops

Curtain rings

Earth

CDs

Dolly pegs

Feathers

Cooking utensils

Drift wood

Leaves

Muffin tins

Pastry brush

Mud

Spoons

Spoons

Pinecones

 

Sticks

Pebbles

Household

Building

Sand

Basin

Cable ties

Shells

Blanket

Crates

Sticks

Basket

Guttering

Stones

Buckets

Hammer/Nails

Tree stumps

Cardboard

Hose

Twigs

Clothes pegs

Paint brush

 

Foam sponges

Planks of wood

 

Sieve

Tyres

 

Creative

 

Beads

Cork

Glass stones

Cardboard boxes

Yoghurt pots

Wrapping paper/glue

 

Loose parts can be used to stimulate the senses

Sound

Empty glass jar or plastic bottle with lid, add in: small stones/dried pasta/rice/buttons/pulses etc  screw lid on and you have a noise maker

Touch

Zip lock bag and add: hair gel/conditioner then add in small beads/glitter. Zip back up and play

Smell

Draw string bags add in: fresh lavender/fresh herbs/fresh flowers

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