Early childhood services Primary school

Loose Parts Play

Current Workshop Dates

If you would like to talk to us further around setting up loose parts play in your centre, please contact our Education Coordinator


Rebecca Burch
Education Coordinator
0438 869 641

Loose parts play areas can be cheap or free to create and they are redesigned daily by the children. They require some maintenance and storage but accommodated all play types equally. They allow children to build, dismantle, bang together, re-purpose and more to make their ideas real in the world. The parts become more engaging over time as the children’s skills increase. Loose parts encourage peer play and social cohesion. 

Loose parts is a concept that began with architect, Simon Nicholson, in the 1970’s. His vision was to create environments that would encourage children’s creativity and higher order thinking through play with open-ended materials that can be moved, combined, taken apart and redesigned. Loose parts play gives children the opportunity to do the thinking rather than just trying to achieve a predetermined outcome.

– Jump Up Outdoors

“As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts” – Simon Nicholson


Loose parts play provides endless opportunities for unstructured, child-directed meaningful play experiences. Children who are given these opportunities are more likely to:

  • Be playful and have fun
  • Socialise, consider others and show empathy
  • Think outside the box
  • Solve their own problems or ask for help
  • Discover, practice, and master new skills
  • Create, innovate and be flexible
  • Consider a variety of options and be adaptable
  • Communicate and negotiate
  • Stick with something until it’s finished
  • Be self-directed and self-regulated
  • Develop their imagination

– Jump Up Outdoors

Nature Play QLD recommends the following organisations who offer programs, workshops and activities that can help you start and develop your play journey with loose parts 

For Families and Children 


For Educators 



Loose Parts Resources

Resources to help you set up your loose parts play journey


If you would like to talk to us further around setting up loose parts play in your school or centre, please contact our Education Coordinator