Open-ended materials, both man-made and natural, are readily available in our classrooms and in the Atelier. These “loose parts” often spark joy as children find creative ways to use them.
Most children typically prefer play that stimulates their curiosity and gives them free reign to create and do. We believe that one of the best ways to enhance their natural curiosity is to introduce a wide variety of the materials we call “loose parts” into their play settings.
Loose parts can be sorted, combined, lined up, stacked, taken apart, redesigned, and put together in almost endless ways. There are no set rules, and no specific directions for their use. These lovely and unique objects invite conversations and interactions, help children to extend their ideas, and encourage collaboration and cooperation. In addition to supporting creativity, diverse thinking, and innovation, loose parts promote social competence.