Loose Parts and Open Ended Toys in Action

This set of photos are of five children in our infant room playing with loose parts and open-ended toys.   The pictures were taken over the course of an hour in an area of the room where there were a variety of toys. They show the children exploring, and manipulating, moving toys around, constructing and designing and then re-designing.  They are using their senses to gather information about their world.  As an Educator I don't want to underestimate this process or their need to play freely in this manner.

I invited her to come and play.

Building with blocks. Practising stacking.  Practising turn taking.

Peeking through the colored blocks.

Touching yarn.

Tasting yarn.

Playing with the baby doll.  So loving.

This is just a sampling, a small glimpse into the play of these capable little ones.  Learning, growing, maturing, developing everyday, every hour.


‘Loose parts’ theory is about remembering that the best play comes from things that allow children to play in many different ways and on many different levels. Environments that include ‘loose parts’ are infinitely more stimulating and engaging than static ones. The play environment needs to promote and support imaginative play though the provision of ‘loose parts’ in a way that doesn’t direct play and play opportunities, but allows children to develop their own ideas and explore their world. 

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1 comment:

  1. Hello Ray-Ann,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I really enjoy what you're doing here. It's astounding what we can learn about children when we watch them play with the same open-ended materials over time. Our youngest infant room has two project "work teams" this year, one is using water to learn about sharing enthusiasm and communicating interest. The other is about making movement with loose parts.

    (I also love the title of your blog.) Keep up the good work!