Outdoor Learning

The Theory of Loose Parts

All our pupils have the Right to Relax and Play (Article 31). We work hard to ensure they have a range of opportunities to do this. Loose parts is one of the most popular activities in the playground and one the children have asked for!

The theory of loose parts was first thought of by architect Simon Nicholson, who believed that loose parts play would encourage children to be more creative.  Loose parts in school would mean any materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up and taken apart and put together again!

Loose parts can be natural or synthetic.  They include items such as:

  • Wood
  • Fabric
  • Logs
  • Crates
  • Shells
  • Seeds, Fir Cones, Shells etc
  • Baskets
  • Tyres

Why Loose Parts?

There are many reasons why we should use loose parts, including:

  • Loose parts can be used anyway children choose.
  • Loose parts encourage creativity and imagination.
  • Loose parts develop more skill and competence than most modern plastic toys.
  • Loose parts can be used in many different ways.
  • Loose parts can be used in combination with other materials to support imagination.
  • Loose parts encourage open ended learning.

Donations for the school’s loose parts are welcome!

No splinters, rough edges, sharp edges or nails though – THANK YOU!