…the Beautiful Stuff of Childhood
As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts. When Nicholson wrote about these materials that allow for creativity and choice he called it the “theory of loose parts” (Nicholson, 1971). He said that in any environment, the degree of creativity and inventiveness is directly proportional to the numbers of variables in it. Loose parts provide the variables children require to create new options in their play. A beach is a good example of a loose parts learning environment, with plenty of move-able and adaptable materials, such as sand, water, rocks and shells. Children can play for hours on the beach. Now take the concept of the beach and think about how early learning communities can incorporate loose parts into their environment? Something to think about!