Mrs. Bowden and Mrs. Farber have been working very hard for a couple of years now on a project that is finally coming to fruition. Thanks to Big Steel Box and Home Depot, we will be adding a Build It Box filled with loose parts to the playground. Loose parts are objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control, and change within their play. With endless possibilities of play, loose parts provide a high level of creativity and choice and develop children’s imagination. Loose parts are the most effective tool for providing open-ended play opportunities where children do not use any specific set of directions or instructions for how to interact with the materials that are available. Manipulating loose parts develops many learning skills, including problem solving, creativity, and making choices. For example, math and physical science concepts are learned as children experiment with sand, water, buckets, measuring cups, and stacking materials. Children of all ages can play with the same materials and use them in different ways appropriate for their age development.
Cathy Farber is a Kindergarten teacher at Bert Edwards Science & Technology School in Kamloops, B.C.