Outside loose parts play: Stretching the imagination

Outside loose parts fun today. The children built a house in the garden out of wooden blocks, tree stumps and a dining room made from cable reels. We are seeing the children being stretched more and more in their play as they learn to engage with the open-ended loose parts we are slowly increasing. “Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual and social-emotional development at all ages. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invest their own rules” (David Elkind, quoted in The Sacred Urge to Play by Pennie Brownlee). Giving children open-ended objects increases the possibilities and children’s imaginations have no limits. These resources also allow for children to work together, and big objects, even more so as they have to help each other in order to achieve a common goal.