“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.” – Simon Nicholson: The Theory of Loose Parts, 1971

Loose parts are open-ended materials that can be manipulated in many ways. They are inherently flexible and promote creativity, problem-solving, communication skills, self-confidence, curiosity, and imagination. Outdoors, there are naturally many loose parts, such as sticks, rocks, flowers, cones, bark, shells, seed pods, and flowers.

Four Winds has created a guide to creating an open-ended outdoor play space anywhere with loose parts, including materials to have on hand, adult role, benefits, and books. Check it out here!

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