Finding Solutions for Toddlers…with Loose Parts

We just love the book Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky with Photography by Jenna Daly. We definitely didn’t want to leave out the photography credit, because the pictures are what really make the book! If you have any interest in providing rich environments for young children – this is the book for you! And remember that many of the materials (or similar materials) are available at reInterpret!

Well, we love the Loose Parts 2 book so much that we created a workshop for teachers of young ones to celebrate the book and create environments inspired by the book, using reInterpret materials. HEre is a recap of some of what we discussed and learned on Saturday, June 24th.




First, we discussed the differences and similarities between toys and loose parts….

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We decided that loose parts and toys could be used very effectively together, and loose parts could extend the play with toys.

Next, each group was assigned a section of the book, which is divided by different areas of play and development. Our task was to create a new photo for the book…
































































How did we do? Hmm, yes, I guess Jenna Daly’s photography still has a leg up on us!

Some of the key concepts that came out of our activity included these things to consider:

 – Choking hazards and other elements that may not be age appropriate.

 – Colors can “set” the mood of a space or activity.

 – How materials are accessible to small children (can they reach?)

 – How many items are appropriate to offer.

 – What accommodations have been made for organization and clean up.

 – How does the invitation promote parallel, group or collaborative play.

 – How “dumping” can be replaced with active engagement.

Finally, the group discussed some behavioral challenges and how they might be addressed using loose parts. We agreed that some children may face additional challenges due to sensory issues, space perception and/or mistaken goals. Loose parts can provide a wide variety of opportunities if presented in the right environment.

If you are interested in our upcoming workshops, please click on the “Workshops” tab. We hope to see you soon!