Loose Parts Play

The Theory of Loose Parts

It all started in when the famous landscape architect Simon Nicholson in 1971 wrote a paper on ‘How to NOT cheat children – the theory of loose part’. Nicholson believed that it is the 'loose parts' in our environment that will empower our creativity.

This theory has had a large impact/influence on the way play professionals and play space designers think today.

In his paper he stressed that children need opportunities to alter and change their play spaces and how a lack of participation of children in the design of their own environment can have an unstimulating play experience.

Examples of Loose Parts:

Tyres

Logs

Sticks

Pallets

Wood

Fabric

Buckets

Crates

Boxes

Rope

Stones

Sand

Balls

Shells

Gravel

Loose Parts Play Should:

  • Allow children to control and lead play opportunities – supported by playworkers
  • Provide an environment which encourages children to use materials and resources as they choose to.
  • It should encourage children to use their creativity, imagination and stimulate children to allow them to develop their own ideas and explore the world at their own pace.
Loose Parts Play
Loose Parts Play
Loose Parts Play