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Why do we love Loose Parts Play?


8 June 2021

You may have noticed the number of Loose Parts we have in our nurseries – wooden baskets, bowls, metal rings, buttons –  but what is Loose Parts  play and what are the benefits?

Well, have you ever noticed when a child is given a brand-new, top-of-the-range toy, they only want to play with the box?

That’s Loose Parts play!

Loose Parts play is a type of play that supports invention, problem solving and offers a sense of wonder to children. They are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in lots of different ways. Loose Part materials such as wooden baskets, pebbles, logs, curtain rings, metal bowls, pine cones and large button have no specific set of directions and can be used alone or combined with other materials.

Children learn lots through being able to freely play with and explore loose parts, whether natural or man-made materials with some of the benefits to this play including:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Gross and fine motor development – learning how to lift and carry.
  • Language and literacy development – making choices and sharing resources
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Communication – speaking with other children during play to share new language and vocabulary.

So, if you see your child playing with curtain rings, pegs or cardboard tubes you’ll know they’re enjoying the many benefits that loose play can bring. Next time you’re in a charity shop, have a look out for some brilliant objects for loose parts play – anything from wicker baskets, old chests, crates, suitcases, metal pots, old phones – and watch the magical play that takes place!

We love Loose Parts play because the possibilities are endless! We hope you do too.

Here are just some examples of loose parts play at our Chester, Billinge and Shrewsbury nurseries:



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