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Loose Parts Reggio inspired play

Updated: Jul 2

“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.”

-Loris Malaguzzi, Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach

Creativity is the highest form of intelligence and open ended play with loose parts allows creativity to thrive. This is why we have a table always full of loose parts, and why we use blocks and Grimms wooden toys. Here are examples of what we use and what we make.

What to make with loose parts
Loose parts tree creation

Loose parts can be anything from recycled bottle tops to acorns to wooden rings. I dyed all of our loose parts with food coloring. It’s cheaper to buy unfinished wood parts and it lets you have a rainbow of colors.

Loose parts and kids books
Loose parts children’s literature inspired creations

Loose parts book inspired designs Leo Leoni‘s Chameleon

Examples of loose parts
A pile of my loose parts

Loose parts are great for imaginative play they are great for fine motor development. Last year we didn’t have a loose parts play station and now it’s in my top 10 toys for kids.

Loose parts play
Loose parts play cloud

Bottle cap cloud

Loose parts puzzle
Loose parts and expressing emotions

Nature loose parts
Natural loose parts

Shells and vase filler

Mirror mandala preschool
Mirror with loose parts mandala

mirror mandala

Loose parts for light tables

Light table pebbles

Loose parts picture

Lego plates make a great sky

For children 3 and up here is our list of loose parts: Straws, plastic animals, rings, pebbles, wooden discs, wooden beads, cloths pins, plastic caps, counting pegs, necklaces, game pieces, buttons, feathers, string, sticks, dowels, pine cones, pattern blocks, acorns, wood rounds, Pom poms, Q tips, popsicle sticks, stones, blocks, grass balls, seeds, spools of thread, ring holders, dominos, Barbie shoes, wooden stars, vase filler, wooden snowflakes, lego wheels, twigs.

Osmo has created silicon loose parts that are perfect

Make your own loose parts as a craft stringing pony beads or glass beads onto wire or string.

Cut some reusable silicone straws into 3rds for perfect non toxic loose parts.

Grimms 4 elements wooden toys have a million uses and my kids love them and play with them every day.

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