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Loose Parts Spark Investigations
September 4, 2017
To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.
-John Marshall
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"While playing outdoors, the children notice a series of bright spots bouncing on the wall. They immediately begin to speculate about what is causing them." So begins a description by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky, in their book, Loose Parts, of how open-ended materials helped children deepen their investigation of light and color. "Genevive says, 'I think the sun is changing colors.' Tomas answers, 'The sun is not many colors, it is only yellow'...

"The teachers want to encourage children to find the source of the light spots, so they invite the children to walk around to see if they can find shiny objects that make light. The teachers move the colorful mirror tiles placed on one of the tables. Sandra looks at the mirrors and says, 'Look, it’s coming from here,' as she moves the mirror. All the children get a mirror and begin to move it around, making the light spots bounce. This simple discovery triggers a series of hypotheses that leads to a complex investigation of light, reflection and color brightness. Prisms are added...The teachers also incorporate natural loose parts, such as leaves, for children to explore and notice the variety of shades the leaves have to offer."





Loose Parts
Inspiring Play in Young Children

With more than 550 color photographs of many kinds of loose parts in real early childhood settings, this book provides inspiration and information about the ways loose parts support open-ended learning, enhance play, and empower children. With loose parts, the possibilities are endless.

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