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Loose Parts Play

Loose parts are a set of objects with no defined purpose that can be bought or found and combined or used alone. They can challenge your child to do the thinking and the playing, as oppose to a toy with specific set of directions or one singular purpose.

Free Loose Parts:

  • Beach rocks/pebbles

  • Small sticks

  • Pinecones

  • Recycled yogurt cups

  • Bottle caps

  • Seashells

  • Egg carton

  • Buttons

It is all in the way you organize them. Set the parts in a tray or separate dishes to get your child started. Defining an uncluttered and defined space to use the materials is a great way to start. Add in a toy that your child already loves and is familiar with, such as a doll or a truck. Sit nearby, but do your own thing. You don't need to play with your child. Be a quiet presence, let your child practice playing loose parts independently.


  • Develops imagination

  • Connects children to reality and the real-world

  • Get to set their own agenda in their play

  • Create their own games and narratives

  • Interact with others and talk about their experiences

  • Creates language-rich play where vocabulary and conversation are at the forefront

  • Don't get bored

  • Creates independency

  • Supports creativity

  • Gross and fine motor development

  • Develops a feeling of achievement

  • Problem solving

  • Develops concentration

Click to read all about the benefits: Benefits of Loose Parts Play

Here are a few more articles to check out:

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