No one is suggesting that you throw out all of your child’s toys but incorporating loose parts play into their routine can open them up to a whole new world of wonder. Throw in the great outdoors and the possibilities are endless.

An article on talks about the many advantages of loose parts play and how many loose parts can be found when you are in the backyard, at the beach or on a camping trip. These include rocks, dirt, mud, sand, pine cones, leaves, flowers, shells and much, much more.

The article, Using Loose Parts for Free Play, also gives some practical advice for how to marry the great outdoors and loose parts play.

  • Be environmentally friendly
  • Choose loose parts that are safe and easily manipulated by your child
  • Encourage your child to collect parts from nature (where appropriate)
  • Avoid directing your child on how to use loose parts
  • Hold off on cleaning up loose parts right away
  • Set up loose parts outside to encourage plenty of outdoor free play

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