Shopping for Loose Parts.

Our staff team went shopping together after work yesterday.  It was a team building event with a purpose!  We were on a mission to find more "loose part" materials for our infant and toddler rooms.  We all did a bit of research and thinking before we went.  What a hoot we had going around Value Village looking at things and making choices of how to spend our $10.00.  Ten dollars each that is.

Here is the cast of characters.

We met at one end of the store to make our final decisions and count up the cost.

Here is all of our loot.  Kind of looks like a pile of junk in this pic, but we are hoping it is going to provide lots of interesting play and learning to our little ones.

Two brass cups that could be cups, or musical instruments as they produce a lovely chiming sound when tapped together, or maybe they could be used to put things into....

A lovely spider webby (is that a word?) place mat that I think will look nice on the light table or hung in the window or......

A bag full of curtain rod rings for use as a teething ring, for threading, for hanging as there are little hooks, for stacking on a wooden post or.....

An assortment of small bowls and spoons

A wine rack and a piece of ducting.  My co-worker in 3-5's has a wine rack and is going to insert cups into the holes and fill the cups with pencil crayons or markers.  This could also go into the water table to hold pvc pipe or.....

You could thread scarves through the holes

Cardboard containers in different shapes for taking lids off and on and for hiding treasures inside...and what else?

A lovely wooden bowl with an assortment of wooden napkin rings 

A wooden leaf plate

These next items would be considered as open-ended toys which are awesome too!  Still so much room for imaginative play.  I thought these were little crochet chicks but they sort of have turkey tails so whatever they are they could be a fun addition to our story corner or could live on a play mat or....

We never have enough vehicles

Some fun dress-ups to add to our collection

Two small dolls for the infants who are really into putting babies to bed right now.  Going to sleep at daycare is a big part of infants curriculum and that is their play right now.  

Two new books.  One for toddlers and one for the infants.  The infant one is all about baby animals going to bed.  Perfect.

So there you have it.  If you scroll down and read the previous blog post you will understand how this shopping trip came to be.  

We bought a lot of items for our $60 dollars and enjoyed the shared experience.

It is really nice to have a manager that supports the philosophy and value of play materials that we want to provide for the children.  As we move away from more conventional toys it takes time and thought to replace them with unconventional loose part and open-ended materials.  

Stay tuned for another blog post that will document how the children choose to use!  

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