WHAT are loose parts and WHY should we consider using them?
Loose parts are open-ended materials that can be moved, manipulated, controlled, carried, lined up, taken apart and put back together in almost endless ways. They have no specific function or goal, but instead evoke imagination, creativity and exploration which can assist in the development of important skillsets for our little ones.
WHAT is an 'open-ended' toy and WHY should we play with them?
WHAT should we 'do' with our loose parts?
Early childhood educator, Lella Gandini once described children as "strong, rich and capable". When we present loose parts to our children, we should keep this in mind; the children will know what to do with them. As a parent or educator ourselves, one of the most important things is to have no preconceived ideas or defined use of the materials. Secondly, when your child decides to change the shape or use of the loose parts, support and encourage them.