The wonder of loose parts

At Explorers, we encourage all children to explore their world through the natural environment. Our environment curriculum provides opportunities for children to explore their curiosities and discover new interests through a range of resources.

This is a great example of a simple experience you can create at home with your little one for everyone to enjoy.

Loose parts play used natural and recycled materials aligns with our Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy of learning. This type of dramatic play encourages children’s imaginations to soar.

Here’s how to set up a loose parts experience for your little Explorer.

You will need the following resources:

  • Recycled or other household objects. (We find that babies love sponges, combs, spoons or even a tennis ball)
  • Cardboard and cylinders.
  • A basket to store your child’s treasure in.


1. Place all objects in the basket on the floor.
2. This is an open-ended experience. Allow time for your baby to explore each item.

Optional: Add fabric or scarves.

Loose parts give children the freedom to arrange and rearrange, creating their own rules and designs, which allows the focus of the experience to be on the process rather than the product. Fine motor skills are also developed and strengthened when children grasp and pick up small objects.

Selecting, touching and playing with parts is a multi-sensory experience. It promotes open ended play, allowing children to learn through exploration and imagination by making their own choices with what and how they play. This provides infinite opportunities for creative thinking and engagement.

Children usually prefer play that stimulates their curiosity and gives free rein to the imaginations and creativity. Incorporating loose parts into the environment will enhance their natural curiosity” – Lisa Daly & Miriam Beloglovsky

This type of play introduces children into learning environments that builds a repertoire of learning, experience and skills sets at any age.

We continue to promote the curious mind of your little Explorer to engage, explore and discover a new way of learning at home- give loose parts play a try!

Inspired by our philosophy and the Reggio Emilia approach, our [email protected] series includes a range of workshops and experiences for all children to enjoy.