Day 5 - July 12, 2018
The level of engagement that comes from self-directed, loose parts play and making is an incredible thing. Today I brought a bag of what most might consider trash or recyclables, along with a bunch of colorful tape, some glitter glue, scissors, a few balloons, and popsicle sticks. These items kept three five-year-olds engaged and happily making and inventing for nearly 2 hours. The list of the things they made included: boats, a entire series of portraits, jewelry for their dolls, multiple abstract gifts for different people, twirling hovercraft balloons, personalized silverware, popsicle sculptures, several musical instruments, and picture frames. I gave them no direction or suggestions. I simply placed these things in front of them and off they went.
Architect Simon Nicholson is the person behind the theory of loose parts. Its application today can be seen around the world in classrooms, playgrounds, adventure playgrounds, museums, yards, and screened-in porches.
Here are few links if you happen to be interested in learning more…
The Theory of Loose Parts,
An important principle for design methodology.
Art. Play. Children. Learning.
Supporting artists & educators to construct children's creative learning environments
Nature Play, Loose Parts, and Museums
“Children learn most readily and easily in a laboratory-type environment where they can experiment, enjoy and find out things for themselves.”