Natural objects. Random plastic ones. Anything without a defined play purpose or even objects that have typical uses, but that can be used for other things. That is what I like to keep on hand in our yard, and, oh, the creativity, imagination and fun that unfolds!
Just the other day, yet another example of loose parts at play developed right outside my front door.
The kids were in the front yard as I prepared a picnic meal. When I walked out to lay the food on a blanket, I found the pathway blocked by "a boat". It seems "the ship" (our home) was sinking and the children were trying to rescue all that they might need to survive. Imaginations, muscles and cooperation had been at play and the scene was unfolding with fun!
It brought such joy to my heart to witness how sunshine, sibling relationships and simple loose parts came together to inspire the "work of childhood" -- play!
And, since you are never too old to play, I joined the children in their imagination. I dodged floating and sinking debris and found my way to an "island" (our picnic blanket). Eventually, I let my almost-sinking shipmates know I had gotten to an island where we could await rescue and had been able to prepare a meager meal to keep our energy up... if they could just make it to the island eventually made their way over to the "island".
They did, and our adventure continued.
Such simple, wonderful fun inspired by loose parts!
What do you keep outside at-the-ready to inspire imagination and creativity?