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An architect by the name of Simon Nicholson developed the Theory of Loose Parts in the 1970’s. He believed that all children are creative and innovative and that this creativity and innovation should be nurtured in all. Loose parts are any material (natural or synthetic) that can be moved, rotated, stacked, sorted, combined, taken apart and re-assembled in endless ways.
The magic of loose parts play is that children can and will use materials in multiple ways. It encourages independent and collaborative learning. Loose parts provide opportunities for children to explore their own creativity and innovation. They encourage children to design, plan, build and represent their learning in a variety of ways. Loose parts promote problem-solving and critical thinking. They encourage children to persevere and take risks. Loose parts play develops excellent motor control and provides opportunities for productive mathematical and literacy learning.
Here at NAIS Pudong, we provide the children with lots of exciting materials that create opportunities for the children to engage in open-ended play. Our Curiosity Corner is full of wonderful treasures for the children to explore. More recently, the children have been manipulating leaves, conkers, pinecones and other autumn treasures to create transient art, to support with their storytelling and for counting and exploring mathematical language such as size.