If you have never heard of the theory of loose parts until now you need to stop what you are doing and read this article first. We’ll wait!
Once you get your head around this theory of loose parts, you’ll forever be on the lookout for items you could use to play or create with. And you will be thinking of all kinds of creative ways to explore those newfound materials. (Raise your hand!)
The simple play activity I’m presenting today is one of those out of the box “hey, let’s try this” kind of ideas. Well, scroll on and see what happens when you let children explore loose parts on a mirror.
How to Explore Loose Parts on a Mirror?
Loose parts come in all shapes and sizes and there are no limits as to what you can do with them. Which is exactly why we love them so much!
For this activity we got the littlest of our loose parts out to explore. Little bits and pieces are like magnets to small children: they just have to have a closer look and feel. Placing them on a mirror adds another dimension to their play. It’s slightly unusual and will entice children even more to explore. Which is exactly the point of an invitation to create, play or explore loose parts!
In theory, you can leave the children to play by themselves. We all value and encourage independent play! In reality, some children need more guidance than others. Here are a couple of ideas for you to help your little ones get started:
1. You can sort the loose parts: by colour, shape, size and so on.
2. You can ‘draw’ with them: make a tree, animal and so on.
3. You can make small worlds for your figurines to explore.
4. You can make loose parts sculptures.
5. You can make faces.
6. You can trace lines drawn on the mirror.
7. You can make mandada’s.
8. You can create patterns.
9. You can ‘write’ names.
Here are just a couple of ideas from the top of my head, I’m sure you will come up with some more once you start exploring.
What Kind of Loose Parts to Use?
You can use anything you like. Having said that, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. The first being the size of your mirror: the smaller it is, the smaller you want your loose parts to be. And second, you want to keep things safe: nothing that can damage the mirror or the children could hurt themselves with. Since you know your kids best, you’ll know what you can safely trust your children with and what not. In some cases a mirror might not even be a good idea at all (yet!).
Now that’s out of the way, let me share with you our favourite and go to loose parts. Have a look on the images to see what exactly we’ve used in this activity. In general we source our loose parts from nature (rocks, shells, leaves, sticks, …), the toy box (blocks, figurines, animals, …), craft supplies (craft sticks, buttons, beads, …), the two dollar shop (glas gems, mini wooden pegs, …), food (nuts and seeds, …) and random items from around the house.
For the Love of Loose Parts
Once you’ve started exploring with loose parts, I’m confident you’ll join the fanclub soon enough! I know you’ll love these articles of activities we did that all feature loose parts in various ways. Have fun!
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