How Early Learning Teachers Support Children Using Loose Parts

Topic Progress:

Children’s use of loose parts is influenced by what materials are available, where they are placed in the environment and the discussions that occur among children and adults. The observations that teachers make and how they scaffold the types of loose parts available influence if and how children move their thinking and discoveries to higher levels of learning.

Watch the video of children using loose parts.  What are the key messages for early learning teachers?  What types of play do you see the children engaging in?  How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit?

Record your perspectives in the comment box below.



  1. Barb Keller

    I find this play is welcoming to the children. The children are using their imagination and lots of communication. Teachers are engaged with the children’s exploration.

  2. Angela George

    Key messages are to give children enough open ended materials and also a wide variety of loose parts for children and the freedom to come up with their own ideas and find the pieces they want to use and then the time to make it and importantly the time to actually play with it. That teachers allow children to lead the play and support them when needed. The types of play that the children displayed in this video was amazing and inspiring.
    I see cooperative play and solitary play, constructive play, imaginative play, dramatic play, small play and cognitive play. I saw children communicating and delegating, , I see science and math and communication
    I saw children totally engaged and happy in their tasks; I saw independence and confidence growing with all the teamwork and problem solving. With the communication and decision making I saw strong friendships developing and meaningful connections to the space helping them with emotional growth. There was positive dispositions on display everywhere. Awesome video!

  3. Christine Norman

    Children are using their imaginations and working together for problem solving. There is a lot of social interaction and discussion going on during play. Children are able to lead the play be confident in their play. This type of open play is welcoming and accessible to all children.

  4. Michelle Davis

    So much fun in that environment. Creative environments where learning is fun is key to creating children as lifelong learners. These children are learning all the basic fundamental skills they will need to carry them through their lives. Cooperation, inclusion, building ideas and building on their ideas. Team work. Problem solving skills and empathy. Working in collaboration with their peers. They learn that if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. It teaches them to try new ways of doing things and it teaches them how to learn to manage disappointment. Self regulation is being learned as well.

  5. Xintong Wang

    Its really nice to see those children having the freedom to explore, to think, to create and to play.
    They are doing dramatic play, problem solving, math, science and so much more.

  6. Cindy Spencer

    What an inspiration! It shows us as teachers who lack outdoor natural space that a space can be built with lots of help from the children. Taking all the materials out and helping bring them all back in when they are done. Suck a clever way to bring the outdoors children when lacking a natural play space.

  7. Shirley Robinson

    Wow just seeing the children interacting was awesome, that what like to see . hope to have that with our new year with the children

  8. Rachael Ewan

    I really enjoyed watching this video. I was interested in the way they store the materials and bring them in and out of the school. Storage of lose materials is another challenge we encounter at our program. I loved the wheely bin! It was interesting to observe the children indoors in contrast to outdoors.

  9. Dana Wilson

    This video was such a pleasure to watch. I loved the way the educators spoke to the children, how they asked open-ended questions that inspired the children to think more deeply. The variety of loose parts was inspirational! As an adult I would be inspired to play, and create and enjoy. I was impressed by how the educators trusted the children to be in command of their own play and how they used the materials. It was obvious that the educators understood the learning that was taking place and respected it.

  10. Daphne Hachey

    i really resonated with the idea of going ‘back to the basics’ and allowing creativity to flourish through the innovation and discovery that are offered with unstructured and open ended play. I also love fort building and think it is awesome !

  11. lisa.rodney

    I think one of the key messages is that children need unstructured time and that the outdoor learning environment, when combined with carefully chosen loose parts, and educators that understand how to support learning and are engaged in active observation and reflection, children will thrive.

  12. Anna Mary McKenney

    The key message is that loose parts can help children engage and expand their vocabulary. We see here that the play is child directed and cooperative. They are explaining to each other how they want to direct the play and problem solving along the way. The educators appear to be engaged and supporting the children’s curiosity.

  13. Jody Anderson

    What are the key messages for early learning teachers? What types of play do you see the children engaging in? How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit?

    Key messages are that there are so many learning opportunities for children to discover on their own if we give them enough unstructured time, provide a safe but creative environment within which they are free to explore on their own. Provide materials that are open ended and not commercial and the children will surprise you with what they are capable of.

    I see the children involved in:
    imaginative play
    -cooperative play
    -whole body play
    -construction play
    -hunting and gathering

    This type of play absolutely does cover all of the learning domains. Physical becasue they are lifting heavy objects and moving their bodies
    Cognitive becuase they are learning how to build sturctures, discoveing animals,
    Emotional growth as it is building self confidence and drawing those queiter children out, being understanding to one anothers suggestions and changing plans if things don’t quite go your way.

    The key messages that teachers exhibit to the children is it is the childrens space. They are the ones who will guide their play, they will choose what they want to do with the materials provided in an unstructured manner with enough time to not feel rushed or hurried.

  14. Krista Ambrose

    I think the key messages for early learning teachers is that children can have many learning moments without our direction. The children picked what they wanted and spoke and described it to the other children. The designed and build many different ideas. I see the children solitary play, cooperative play, creative play, and constructive play. The children are taking turns, they are communicating and sharing. They are being creative and curious. They are moving large items and stretching and reaching. I think the teachers are showing that children need free time to be themselves. They do not need to be guided all the time. They can problem solve and be creative all at the same time.

  15. Bonnie Willson

    I saw independent play, parallel play, associative play, cooperative play, constructive play and dramatic play. The key message is how important it is to development that the children engage in outdoor play with loose parts to encourage their connection to nature. The children in the video are learning much about how to interact with others, how to cooperate, and how to be creative.

  16. Lindsey Cooper

    I see children being creative, gaining confidence, being responsible, respectful, and considerate. I think that by giving children space to learn with natural materials there is less pressure and less stress on them than there is in a classroom. When we let children use their imagination there is no wrong way to do something and this can help them build confidence in their abilities.

  17. Jennifer Yarmish

    I saw the key messages from the E.L. teachers as: children are incredibly capable, it’s important to provide not only the opportunity but the time for children to learn in these spaces and that it is truly an amazing thing to have the chance to teach and learn with the children this way.
    These children were engaging in group and solitary play, sorting, constructing, problem solving, socializing and so much more! They were able to exercise both gross and fine motor skills when carrying the bins and lifting pieces out, interacting socially during problem solving and general enjoyment, expressing themselves emotionally (laughter, confidence), and building their cognitive skills when designing play spaces.
    These teachers gave the children support and encouragement but allowed the children to be able to explore and learn without constantly asking questions or doing things for them. This is a tough skill to develop as we are often in the mind set that to teach we must demonstrate…especially when we have been in the field for a long time.

  18. Heather Diewert

    What I noted while watching the video was that the teachers were facilitators, only stepping in when children needed help tying things up higher, or to ask open-ended questions; what is a spider-ant? They go with the play and support what children are doing.
    Children were creating structures, houses, vehicles, creating phones, all the time discussing what materials they needed, collaborating on where to place items, problem solving, and using team work.
    All the play was fostering creative skills, gross and fine motor skills, critical thinking, spatial awareness, math skills while counting out parts and thinking about the weight of objects and how to distribute it evenly, language development while discussing the process, and best of all enjoyment in their work.
    The key messages from the teacher’s were that children tended to open up more during outside learning, that they felt less pressure to achieve, therefore achieved more, and that they got to view children as a whole.

  19. Jasmine Park

    I always thought about providing loose parts as provocation. On the cloth, beautifully displayed to invite and inspire children with the materials. And it gave me pressure and burden to provide nice looking loose parts. But this viedo gave me a lesson that loose parts can be anything and they don’t need to be complicated. Also if children are involved in choosing, it will be more fun and meaningful. Children enjoy playing with loose parts. So I decided to take it easy!

  20. Rachelle Gregoire

    The message was that it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. All kinds of skills and learning is happening while having fun. They are feeling a sense of belonging when they work together. They feel a sense of accomplishment when they build themselves a car or house. They are moving heavy crates and searching for specific parts and collecting seeds. Words that spoke to me, “reluctant speakers come alive”, “they will be making decisions for the world we are going to be living in.”

  21. Heather Brekkaas

    I noticed that the students are given the chance to really explore and create how they want. To be in charge of their learning and learn how to cooperate, problem solve, and play with others.

  22. Katarina Ninkovic

    Children being given the freedom to do and create what they want is really the best part, also all the support, by support i mean encouragement by the staff to just do what they wanted with he materials !

  23. Nicole Robinson

    I love watching the children see the loose parts and create their own creations that are unique and interest them.

  24. Nikki Littlechild

    I love that the children were involved in taking the materials outside. there was a mix of natural and synthetic loose parts. I love that the teacher shared it allows her to see the children as who they really are rather than who they are in a classroom with restrictions and rules etc

  25. Grace Smith

    I see all kinds of play. The loose materials they have, promote all developmental skills.

  26. Angel Huang

    Watch the video of children using loose parts. What are the key messages for early learning teachers? What types of play do you see the children engaging in? How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit?

    In the video we see children looking through all those loose parts and how they connect to each one of them and how they play with others. They are engaging in all sort of different plays: such as dramatic, imagination, creative, social and constructive. Their social, physical, hands eye coordination, mental and emotions are all being support during this outdoor play with loose materials. They are moving the materials around, telling their friends what to do, sharing their ideas, building together. As physical they are moving, jumping, running around. They are thinking, building and problem solving as well.

  27. Maria Agustin

    In the video we see the children’s ability to be creative and works on their own ideas using the loose parts. We see them how to share their ideas and learn new things to their peers.

  28. Lisa Goldsack

    The key messages that I heard are loose parts are everywhere and anything can be a loose part. I also heard the message that children playing outside with loose parts brings out a different side of their personality and for some children it helps them become more open and less shy. I saw children engaging in so many different kinds of play such as imaginative play, constructive play, social play and dramatic play.

  29. Karin Freiberg

    The key message I heard was that educators need to honor the time for outdoor play and to make intentional, thoughtful choices when choosing materials for the playspace.

  30. Shannon Stewart

    The key messages that I heard was to slow down, create time to allow children to reveal who they are. They use their creativity to demonstrate the unique ways in which they play. Getting children outside to play supports different dispositions in children and fosters critical thinking.

  31. Jessica Garner

    The key message I heard in this video was how loose parts play allowed the educators to see children in new ways, to see parts of the children that weren’t evident in the indoor classroom environment. This makes me think of the opportunities that children may be missing out on if educators limit this type of play.

  32. Amanda Funk

    I enjoyed seeing the children use the spare parts. I noticed children gravitating towards others with similar interests. I also noticed that the outdoor environment gave them more space use and explore. I also noticed the absence of the word no.

  33. Ruth Novak

    I am super jealous of all the space and loose parts those children have. They look so happy playing outside which is improving emotional development. By working with their friends they are also improving their social development. Physical development improves by digging, building, jumping and even running around! They had enough loose parts that they were able to imagine what they wanted to. This helps cognitive developnent by trying to really concentrate on what to build or do with the loose parts (imagination). The teachers really let the children be curious and be there if needed. I loved how they mentioned how you see a different side to the children and it’s so true because they get to choose themselves. It is also great for them to develop a lifelong connection to nature, because as said: they are out future!

  34. Tammy

    I see the children using all types of play (creative, constructive, inclusive, dramatic, imaginative, social). The key message to the educators is to allow the children time and space to create and learn, to listen and be responsive, and allow the children to scaffold on their play. This type of play is important because the children are using self regulation skills, problem solving, social integration.

  35. Kimberley Thompson

    It is great to the children leading the play using loose parts , having people donate loose parts is a great way to get them.

  36. Julia Kunz

    the key message is that children are mighty learners and capable of creating their own play and ideas. I see the children engaged in spontaneous, child led play. This experience supports all developmental domains.

  37. Pamela Casorso

    I think the main point in this video is that children are seen as capable leaders in their own play. The children are seen as capable, creative and able to to do ” real” work. Children are able to work magic with loose parts.

  38. Mikaela Reyes

    Our role as early learning teachers are very important in children’s play. By providing them the right tools to explore, children will gain the confidence to trust their instincts, be independent in creating their play, and see peers as people who can help them or guide them. In the video, the children are involved in different types of play using loose parts. They were using it for dramatic, construction, social, inclusive, and crative play. Through all this types of play using loose parts, children are able to develop all 4 domains of development as they think about what to do with the materials, take charge in assigning roles or accepting roles, creating their own lines during pretend play, re-creating the use some materials and so on. There are so many skills that children are targetting as they are playing with loose parts.

  39. Minni Harris

    This video is such an inspiration of what children can create and engage with their peers when given the freedom to be creative. The engagement of peers and the ideas being shared everyone opens up to talk in a comfortable space.

  40. Betty-Ann Ryz

    Love the connection to everything in this video. Children connecting with each other; connecting to nature; connecting with the teachers and connecting together to support each other’s desire to outdoor play. They all worked together to get the materials outside and taken back in when they were done. Loved the imaginative play, constructional play and seeing the smiles and joy that outdoor play brought to them all.

  41. Amanda Christison

    This was a great video! You can really see the positive impact of the wide variety and access of loose parts has on the children in their outdoor environment. Their teachers are letting the children take the lead and it is child focused and led. It was wonderful hearing the impact on all of the children, especially the ones who tend to be more reserved and quiet indoors and how much they opened up and communicated once they were outside and fully immersed in the loose parts experience. There was a large open space outdoors for either individual play or large group play – a lot of cooperative play was seen. The teachers were extremely positive and supportive and wanted to give children this experience and understood the long term importance of children being able to spend lots of time outdoors with the loose parts and how that will positively impact them later in life. They want them to have a life long love of learning and giving them the time, space and materials is an important vehicle in which to achieve this goal.

  42. Silvia Martínez

    watching the kids take up the offer of loose parts because you can see their creativity starts to spark which encourages free play for them. We as educators have the ability to provide them with the materials to create something new and unique.

  43. Nazia Mir

    The main message is very powerful. children need freedom to create things. they are using different materials in their own ways.

  44. Ginette Pelletier

    You get to see the creativity and the making of connections among the children.
    They begin to make decisions, problem solve, become confident, and finding their place in the world.

  45. Amanda N

    This video illustrates children having the freedom to create and being themselves. Educators trying to learn deeply about the children they work with. And children connecting with their peers, sharing ideas, and learning together.

  46. Lucie Pendergraff

    I see in the video how free the children feel to use their imagination and create. I do think that if they were indoors they would be able to do the same types of things to a certain level with the loose parts, but being outside allows more of a connection with nature and the openness of the space helps them to feel more free and open to express.

  47. Prabhulata Immaraju

    Watching the children have this wonderful opportunity to bring out the loose parts to a big n open space and crossing their play partners or choosing to build their own individual spaces and seeing their creativity n imagination flow shows how having the freedom to play with material that they can manipulate and build with allows learning n the growth of each domain in children.

  48. justine devenport

    Key message: outdoor play lets children effectively learn the curriculum material while developing who they are personally, socially, emotionally etc. While also providing a learning environment where edcators can adapt to learners’ individual needs for optimal growth.

  49. Charlene Durrant

    Not only were children creating and communicating and socializing but they were the ones who took the loose parts out and sorted and put them away. This is teaching them responsibility that they can use in their every day lives.

  50. Svetlana Babikova

    The key messages of the video are: children connect to nature, loose parts play promotes deeper thinking and problem solving, creativity, the activities 100% child’s lead. Children engaged in dramatic play, social interaction. Loose parts play support holistic child’s development: cognitive development, risky play, language development, physical development.

  51. Kathy Barnhart

    Being free to play and create and explore is really what I see as missing in a lot of children’s education and daily lives. I love seeing them in their own world, doing what they are capable pdf doing with no preconceived notions of adults blocking their curiosity ad learning.

  52. Nikki Meyer

    I thought it was great that children were involved in sorting the loose parts, it allowed them to know what was available for use in planning their project. Educators were engaged in providing opportunities for enhancing freely chosen creative play. The play supported the more reserved children in their interactions.

  53. Andrea Preissl

    I think the key messages were for educators to offer the loose parts and then step back to let them figure out what they will use them for.

  54. Caroline Driedger

    What are the key messages for early learning teachers? What types of play do you see the children engaging in? How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit?
    Key messages are that children are experiencing developmental aspects of the whole child using loose parts. It gives all children the opportunity to express themselves in their play and not worrying about a right or wrong situation.
    I see all kinds of play, social emotional, gross motor, fine motor,and cognitive , The type of play is supported by children making decisions, they are playing cooperatively and feeling successful.

  55. Nadira Ramnauth

    The children had a variety of loose parts to explore with. I like how the children used their imagination to use the loose parts and become creative. It was a great video.

  56. Joanne Falk

    I think the key messages for early learning teachers is that they are so capable of being their own leaders, and how they work/learn when they are able to be the driver in their own play and not having a teacher telling them how to use a specific loose part. they are able to problem solve, and be social with their friends. They had also mentioned that some children who were hesitant to speak in class were more open in the outdoors, and opened up, created things with loose parts. I loved seeing the creativity that these children have, building houses, running out of gas and having a passenger run after the runaway tire, how children use their imagination is amazing when we let them

  57. Nicole Morrell

    Key messages are that children love to explore and use their imagination. They were so engaged in creating and playing alongside their peers. They were smiling and discussing possibilities and ideas and working together to navigate imaginary play. I see all different kinds of play and I think that’s why this is such a valuable process for childen. There is no wrong way to use a loose part and thus the possibilities are endless. Children’s social development is supported through playing together and sharing ideas. Their emotional development is supported through problem solving with peers and taking risks in the spirit of learning. Their cognitive development is supported through all of the brain power it takes to think of different ways to use their materials an d their physical development is supported through carrying, stacking, and sorting.

  58. Lucie Theroret

    i like watching that video children are really engage in their play lots of social interaction teacher helping but is the children that got the lead

  59. Laura Mcintosh

    I loved seeing the creative ideas the school age children had with the loose parts in this video. The key message I believe would be how items that aren’t hard to access can be so influential for children’s learning outdoors.

  60. Jaclyn Geiger

    Its so true. Our kids need time to play for the processing of emotions and thoughts as they live in such a hurried fast-paced world. Seeing the opportunity of loose parts is amazing! I love this.

  61. Stephanie Vieira

    I really loved watching this video. It shows the educators letting the children make their own play with loose parts and still helping them when they can. Asking a lot of questions. See what other interest the children well have after they build with their loose parts.

  62. Ai Paul

    I think what spoke to me about this video was loose parts play meets where children are at. It will support children express differently from indoor environment and also engage with children who have multiple talents and skills.

  63. Carrie Maclellan 

    I see really great collaboration and team work. The children are developing their physical body, mental clarity and processing; they get to experience the freedom to explore and test their boundaries. This really sees the child holistically as the capable individuals they are.

  64. Erin Lihou

    The teachers are letting them be the leader on how they decided to use the materials and they can see what strengths each child can have. They are allowing them to use their imagination. Also how to challenge their way of thinking.

  65. Heidi Dueck

    Loose parts is a great equalizer for children. There is no written rule how to play with them, they can not be wrong.

  66. Janice Duncan

    I think that a key message of this video is that play with loose parts creates opportunities for children to express themselves in an environment that is open-ended, the child who is hesitant to speak up in class is seen in a different light during loose parts play. What children play with and how they play reveals their interests, skills and abilities. The children were engaged in construction, role play, object play, nature explorations. I saw children discussing ideas and making plans with one another-lending itself to social development. The children were carrying heavy crates, building with planks in that play developing physical literacy skills. Creating small worlds and constructions with playmates helps contribute to a sense of accomplishment, a sense of belonging and a sense of agency- making choices. Making decisions about the placement of the materials, what to build, how to solve problems, experimenting with materials all lend themselves to cognitive development.
    The key message of the educators in this video is that outdoor play with loose parts is a valuable part of children’s learning and that their whole being is involved in the learning.

  67. Kathryn Armstrong

    What speaks to me most about this video is how engaged the children are with their peers. They were engaged in imaginary play that was very detailed. I think as the teacher expressed the biggest take away is that the children are in the drivers seat.

  68. Lorraine Kok

    I think what spoke to me about this video was their was a of of constructive play and the children were really engaged.

  69. Carli Olson

    What stuck out the most for me right from the beginning is how much problem solving there is happening. They are really thinking about what they are making, how mjuch of this material they need to ensure they can build what the want, and the peer interaction is amazing!

  70. Kamaldeep Sidhu

    When children are engaged in loose parts, playing in the outdoors, educators provide space and a variety of loose parts and ask open ended questions to explore their imagination. Educators stand back, watch, and observe their play, allow them to see the whole world by themselves. Educators let them free to share their ideas. children are solving problems and planning in the scenario.

  71. Alphonsine Hategekimana

    The key message is to show us the importance of loose parts and what helps in children. Children are happy and interested in participating, choosing and making their own choices about what they like or prefer to do. The role of the adult is to give the children the materials, to observe and to support the children by asking them questions about what they are doing. The children collaborate, share ideas of what they are doing. I notice that they observe closely what they are doing in their creativity. In addition, it develops their psychomotor skills, as they use their imagination, think about what they are going to do, carry the materials and manipulate them. Finally it is necessary to connect their environment/nature.

  72. Heather Howard

    The key messages for early learning teachers is that using loose parts supports so many developmental aspects of a child. Offering these experiences allows you to see the whole child. Physical development is supported through constructing and using the wide open spaces as their own imaginary roads, runways and neighborhoods. Imaginary play is supported while allowing children to immerse themselves into another world and use the materials to create this new world with their peers. Problem solving and testing theories is occurring as they experiment and explore the materials. The key messages that the teachers exhibit is allowing the children to be the lead in their play, and allowing themselves to see the whole child.

  73. Deborah Fehr

    The key message is that all forms of learning and development happen when children are engaged in loose parts play in the outdoors. Although there is an important role for educators e.g. to provide the time, space and loose parts, to ask questions designed to get children thinking and to let educators know what the children are thinking, to model possibilities for the children), it is important that the educators stand back and let the children determine the direction of the play and avoid “teaching” them only one way to use a material.

  74. Krissa Rathgeber

    I think what the teacher said about the children who don’t normally put up their hands to share really come alive when they were playing with the loose parts and were more willing to share what they were doing…speaks volumes to educators about the benefit of loose parts play.

  75. Madison Reimer

    I think it is so critically important for children to experience the outdoors in this way, with unstructured play time with natural materials. This video inspired me to look at my environments and see what natural loose parts can be added to help support the interests and needs of the children!

  76. Patricia Lynch-Staunton

    What types of play do you see the children engaging in? How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit?
    We can get to know the whole child and undestand their needs in a different context when playing outdoors with loose parts as they engage in dramatic play, constructive play, creative play, social play, and inclusive play. There is time and space for free, unstructured play. Children negotiate, imagine, think critically, express ideas, collaborate, test limits, problem-solve and move their bodies in novel ways through this experiential learning. The children are developing connection with nature.
    Teachers send key messages such as the child owns the play by taking a hands-off approach, narrating, describing and supporting; there is no right or wrong way to use the materials.

  77. Christine Villeneuve

    What are the key messages for early learning teachers? What types of play do you see the children engaging in? How does the play that you observe support children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development? What key messages do the teachers exhibit? Teachers in the video expressed how children are transformed when they experience learning outdoors. They view outdoor play and learning with loose parts as part of viewing and developing the whole child. Children take the lead, create their worlds with peers, and their imaginations soar.

  78. Randi Robertson

    I think that it is super important to allow your students to be able to have free time and be able to go hangout with friends outside, while playing with loose parts. Children have big imaginations and its important to allow them to use them and be creative.

  79. Daniela Rodriguez

    Loose parts allow for children to blossom in multiple ways. Furthermore, they are exploring their curiosity and creativity with their peers. They create stories and have role-playing for each one. They experience different materials and learn in further depth about their surroundings. Overall, loose parts is an excellent tool/resource for teachers to implement in their classroom to make children’s education journey even better.

  80. Alison Rinas

    The key messages educators can observe or take away from this play, that children where using all these developmental skill from social and emotional in creating relationships and listening to each other’s ideas and creating as a community. Cognitively the problem solving and developing ideas and overlies on how their ideas will come to be is also another children are engaged with collaborating with the environment each other and materials provided to them. So many perspectives of observation to explore.

  81. Leisha Kozier

    The key messages for educators are that loose parts can be a scope of different materials, from natural to synthetic and that they all play a role in the curiosity, creative thinking, and shows the resourcefulness of the adults. ( The materials have to come from somewhere.) I noticed small groups within the groups using a variety of different loose parts and that the clean up and storage of materials can be handled quite easily if it has to be stored. The use of sheets, gunny sacks, milk cartons, boxes and pails can be used to help with bringing out materials and then storing them again. There was so much creativity and curiosity happening here and guidance from adults when needed.

  82. Susanne Saunders

    The children are free to explore and use their imagination. Having loose parts allows the children to be curious of what they can do. I see the children working together, constructing cars, houses, using their imagination with the sand making cup cakes. Pretending they are out of gas. You can see the children are enjoying outdoor play.

  83. Charmee Penner

    I loved seeing the creativity of the children using the natural materials. When I think back to my childhood some of my fondest memories are of creating forts in the woods. It is really neat to see the children creating houses, forts and cars out of the loose parts materials in more of an urban setting. It demonstrates that we as teachers are able to find creative ways to encorporate natural materials in any setting so children can develop a connection to nature.

  84. Kim Hoey

    I think the key thing for early learning teachers is to take the children outside with all these great loose parts and just let them go. Children are capable beings with wonderful imaginations if allowed to use them. Creative play, social play and constructive play I saw happening in the video.

  85. Romy Ralph

    I think the video really shows how capable children are at being leaders and problem solvers. I love the idea of seeing the whole child and when they are given loose parts and the outdoors a quiet child may become the leader in building and creating with their peers.

  86. Jessica Popp

    The key message from the educators is that if we want to meet a child’s whole being and development we must include both the outdoors as well loose parts.
    There are many different types of play observed; socio dramatic play, physical play, constructive play, collaborative play, dramatic play.
    The play supports the children learning in many ways; social play, the children are working together, planning and problem solving, dolling each other directions, assign for supports. Physically the children are moving, carrying, climbing, running, jumping. In the area of social and emotional development the children are learning to use their voice and share their views in an outdoor environment. Cognitively, children are problem solving, planning, manipulating the materials to act out their play scenario.

  87. Anita Morgan

    I think the key points in the video are that children are seen as capable leaders and drivers of their own play. Children are seen as trustworthy, creative, and able to do “real” work.
    The loose parts add to the idea of being for the whole child and can help their critical thinking skills.

  88. Taylor Aichelberger

    The key messages for early learning teachers are that using loose parts outdoors supports child development, connects to curriculum in so many ways, and provides opportunities for children to engage in critical and creative thinking skills. I see the children in this video engaging in constructive play, social play, collaborative play, imaginative play, physical play, dramatic play, inclusive play and creative play. The play that I have observed supports children’s social development by giving them space to resolve conflict and collaborate with their peers. It supports emotional play by offering them experiences where they can practice self-regulating, communicating and expressing themselves. This play supports cognitive development by offering opportunities to construct things, experiment, problem-solve and create things. It also supports physical development because children are engaged in full body play, using their gross motor skills to manipulate materials, engage in imaginative play while running, jumping, and dancing. The teachers in this program exhibit some key messages including that children need space to design their own play experiences that are not always dictated by adults. They also noted that there was more space for children who were hesitant to speak/engage in the traditional indoor classroom setting, and that they often gained a different and more holistic, complete perspective and understanding of the entire child as a whole being. Another important comment from one teacher was that the children are in the driver’s seat in this type of outdoor play with loose parts, and this puts them in a position to make decisions, think critically, solve problems, gain confidence in their ability and feel successful.