Have you ever heard of the theory of loose parts? It sounds like something you would find in an Engineering text book, not literature about play. Reach inclusive preschool in North Delta introduced “loose parts” play to preschoolers in February and were amazed by the creativity, imagination and joy seen in each child.
In a preschool, loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. The theory of loose parts was first proposed back in the 1970’s by architect Simon Nicholson, who believed that it is the loose parts in our environment that empower our creativity. The photos depict different ways preschool children used resources found after staff rummaged in the cupboards.
Loose parts create endless possibilities and invite creativity. For example, if a child picks up a rock and starts to play, most likely that rock can become anything the child wants it to be.“Imagination, creativity, curiosity, desire, and need are the motivation of loose parts”, says Reach Preschool Manager Oshrat Zemel. “Giving meaning to loose parts requires us to think about the possibilities of how a child learns and consider the materials and environments they use: we can’t wait to see what they create next!”
A term strongly connected to loose parts is open-ended. Open ended materials, environments, and experiences encourage problem solving and are child centered. This is consistent with the learning philosophy at Reach inclusive preschools in North and South Delta. Reach Preschool in North Delta is located at 10921 82nd Avenue. For more information contact Oshrat at oshratz@https://reachdevelopment.org/ or 604-946-6622 ext. 308.