At Tops Day Nurseries we fully support the ethos of loose parts play and appreciate the benefits it has on children.
Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions, they can be natural or synthetic.
The gardens we have throughout Tops Day Nurseries provide an array of loose parts for use in play such as stones, stumps, sand, balls, buckets, baskets, crates, boxes, stones, flowers, tyres and shells. Having “loose parts” available in a play space allows children to use these materials as they choose.
Tops Newport has recently created a ‘water wall’. This enables the children to pour water through different tunnels, using different objects for carrying the water.
When children are left alone to play with whichever loose part they choose, it encourages them to enhance their imagination, explore their creativity and learn things about their environment, for example ‘what will happen if I drop this stone into a puddle?’ or using flowers to explore their senses. Although we do encourage adult led activities, we also provide the children time to be children.
At Tops Sturminster, the children have been taking advantage of the loose parts in the garden. One particular day, the pre-school children decided to make perfume. They picked flower petals and leaves to add to the containers in the mud kitchen and created perfume. Although the creation itself only took a few minutes the children enjoyed doing this, each in their own different ways.
Loose parts play is about stimulating children’s minds in a way they can learn and grow.