Loose Parts Playtime
Loose parts play is playing with anything that moves around, for example, building a den using blankets and tarpaulins or making a bridge with pallets. Recent research has shown that it improves problem solving skills and increases teamwork.
At Whipton Barton Junior School in Exeter loose parts have been gathered by the school community for children to play with every lunchtime. Everything has been recycled and reused. Recently children had a non-uniform day and brought in items from home that could be reused, rather than donating cash. The school sent a letter home with all the children listing the items children could bring in:
All children get a chance to play with Loose Parts at lunchtimes to engage students in creative thinking and problem solving. Children are encouraged outside in all weathers as coats and boots are part of the school uniform. The staff admitted that it does look like a mess, but children have free access to a range of building materials, pallets, tubes and tools and digging holes in the mud.
We love this idea and think it is a great way of reusing stuff that your school community (parents, grandparents, staff, friends and family) may have lying around their home or business. How great for it to be used creatively at school, getting kids outside in all weathers and not get thrown away!