Loose parts play or exploration provides the endless possibility for children and adults to create something. It opens sparks of imagination, creativity, and conversations on the table. Here are 5 reasons why loose parts play is beneficial:
1. Important in the Modern Age
There are so many both education and recreational resources that are in electronics and devices. Many children lose out on hands-on activities or play and it has gotten worse during the pandemic. Loose parts play invite children to exercise their body, senses, and their creative minds freely. As there is more technology, less family time, less space or ability for children to play outside, and time is often micro-managed, loose parts play invites all uniqueness of each and whole child to freely develop and exercise by creating something.
Sustainability is a topic that we must talk about with children in an everyday setting. Being in a fruitful environment of materials and resources may cause children to miss what and how much they are spending, using, and consuming. We need to show how to efficiently use objects or how to up-cycle. With loose parts play, children will learn naturally about sustainability and supporting nature. Also re-using objects as loose parts play is less costly.
Often children get stuck or find it difficult to be social with others due to being indoors for a long time with family members during the pandemic. Loose parts play opens up their world and naturally welcomes others. It may be a story, conversation, imaginary animal, or character. Children get to set the agenda, think up their ideas, and just generally think for themselves. Children are strengthening their self-esteem, and learn to self-soothe. Of course, a little bit of supervision or setting the pieces of loose parts must be done by an adult for safety reasons.
4. Supports Creativity
This one is obvious. Loose parts opens millions of possibilities and characters/personalities for each material. Children are freely creating stories or memories using loose parts. The meaning of each loose part changes and is altered by, for, and with children. It is truly endless.
5. Gross and Fine Motor Development
Loose parts support the gross and fine motor development since it is not glued together or the pre-made result of art. Children will need to use their focus, tension, muscles, and senses to create what is in their minds. A single mistake will not be a proposed creation. The image or action in their creative minds will deeply engage with their body on how to use and exercise their own body.
Williams, M. 14 Benefits of Loose Parts Play With Examples. Early Impact. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from https://earlyimpactlearning.com/14-benefits-of-loose-parts-play-with-examples/