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:
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.