Loose Parts Play


A ‘loose parts’ toy, is open-ended; children may use it in many ways and combine with other loose-parts through imagination and creativity.  

Nature, which excites all the senses, remains the richest source of loose parts.
Richard Louv, Author 

Our Loose Parts leaflet is aimed at parents, carers, big sisters, wee brothers ….  anyone with an interest in play!

Play Scotland Loose Parts Leaflet – downloadable pdf






Loose parts play poster – downloadable pdf







“Cheap items like crates and buckets encourage children to be more active and creative then expensive play equipment, researchers have found.  The findings are the result of a long-term study into the play difference of primary school children with access to different playgrounds.  Introducing simple, everyday objects can cut sedentary behaviour by half, improve creativity and boost social and problem-solving skills”
Science Daily


Loose Parts Play – A Toolkit

The aim of the toolkit is that more children will have access to loose parts play and that adults in the play, early years and education sectors will feel more comfortable and confident about introducing loose parts play within their settings.

This updated edition offers:

  • a greater focus on skills that help adults to facilitate loose parts play sensitively and respectfully
  • more starting points to link loose parts play with education, curriculum, wellbeing, social and care contexts
  • a wider range of ‘snapshots’ and case studies illustrating real-life application of loose parts play theory in the field
  • more pages to print, photocopy and share

Who is the Toolkit for?

The Toolkit will be useful for:

  • people working directly with children and teenagers, in many types of setting
  • people in management and leadership roles
  • play and community associations and networks

Loose Parts Play Toolkit 2019.pdf

Previous Toolkit – Previous Loose Parts Play Toolkit pdf


“When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of  thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning.  Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play”.
(Dale and Beloglovsky)