Introducing Loose Parts to Construction Play

Add loose parts to your child’s construction play to open up a world of creative opportunities!

Introducing loose parts to construction play

Now that S is getting older (2.5yrs) she is becoming more creative in her construction play. A while back we received some wonderful wooden building blocks which happened to be offcuts of wood from some building work my Mum was having done (destined for the skip, would you believe!). I’m so glad they were rescued and there has not been a day so far that S hasn’t unpacked them and set about building something new; castles being a particular favourite.

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I wanted to start adding loose parts into her construction play to encourage creativity and extend her play. I set about collecting bits and bobs to include. Here’s what I used;

  • animals and people
  • pebbles
  • leaves
  • glass pebbles
  • wooden beads
  • lolly sticks
  • wooden discs
  • a pinecone
  • wooden peg dolls
  • wooden pots
  • wooden rings (these were added later into the play)

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I also used a combination of the large wooden bricks and some smaller colourful blocks.

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At first S was a little unsure of the addition of the extras and began building her usual tower, completely bypassing any of the loose parts. I gently supported her to begin to explore using some open questions and slowly she began to create independently.

simple questions you could ask to support learning:

  • what shall we make?
  • what is this part?
  • what could we do with this?
  • tell me about your creation…

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I also modelled using the loose parts myself to create a little scene which she was really taken with and soon her play opened up completely and she used the props to create stories with the people and animals.

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We have gradually been using more and more loose parts in play and the more we use them the more S explores; it’s a wonder to watch!

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I am learning…

  • to select and use resources with help :: PSED
  • to maintain attention during activities :: Communication & Language
  • to use talk to connect and talk about ideas :: Communication & Language
  • to use construction materials to build vertically, horizontally & enclose spaces :: Expressive Arts & Design
  • to build stories around toys :: Expressive Arts & Design


Have a look around your home (or whilst out and about) and start building a collection of loose parts. Follow my LOOSE PARTS board on Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration…

Follow Beth @ Wings and Roots’s board Loose Parts on Pinterest.

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