We engaged in some quiet, engaging, open-ended play in the backyard this morning, before it got too hot. We live in Queensland, Australia and last weekend it was 36°C (that’s around 97°F for my American readers).
I set them up in the shade with an experience inspired by Reggio, loose parts, mirrors, some sand and let their creativity take over. Cameron always amazes me with his ability to create meaningful imaginative scenarios.
Cameron made a “big big tree with lots of leaves”. Note Lucy in the background playing with her reflection (she did this a lot) and note the fact that Cameron is standing in his tray of sand.
For Lucy (almost 19 months old) this was all about exploration. She scooped sand onto her mirror, brushed it around and pointed out the bird that flew past that she saw in the reflection of her mirror. Look at that adorable fine motor grip on her brush. She really enjoyed herself.
You can see Cameron in the background here with ALL the loose parts in his sand tray with what he was calling a playground.
“The ball sinks down and down in the sand”
“These [craft mirror circles] are coins and pay for the ride”
“There are so many people. It’s so busy”
Children are naturally drawn to open-ended play and creativity with loose parts. I love seeing and hearing Cameron work through social issues with play – it’s almost always when loose parts are involved as they can transform into whatever he needs.
Many inspiring bloggers have discussed setting up a Reggio activity and the theory of loose parts. So click through to them for more information and tons of inspiration. You can find similar small and large glass gems online.
Do you use loose parts for play with your child/ren? What is the typical response?