Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children

By Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky

In the early childhood field, “loose parts” refers to natural or synthetic found, bought, or upcycled materials–acorns, hardware, egg cartons, fabric scraps, stones, aluminum foil, etc.–that children can move, manipulate, control, and change within their play. Early childhood professionals–especially those who advocate for play or are Reggio-inspired–use loose parts to create open-ended, child-centered environments and experiences to empower children’s creativity, enhance play, and encourage problem solving.

With more than 550 color photographs, this book is more inspirational than instructional. Part one, the most text-heavy portion of the book, defines the concept of loose parts and their value in early childhood settings. The remaining sections use photographs and captions to depict the endless assortment of loose parts and the multitude of ways they can be incorporated into indoor and outdoor learning environments.