How to Encourage Creative Exploration in Kids

Loose parts play is a fabulous method to bring out your child's inner tinkerer, designer, builder or artist. The method focuses on open-ended learning. There is no single objective or end-goal. Rather, the goal is to encourage a child's ability to create, explore and think without instruction from a grownup. 

So how does it work? 

1. Find a tray or box with multiple compartments. (We find that some of the Melissa & Doug wooden trays work really well for this.)

2. Look around your home and outdoors for smallish objects that could be used for designing, decorating or building. Include some objects that could be put together or taken apart. It's helpful to have several of each object.

3. Set the tray out for your child to find. Trust us--they'll be curious. Let them know that they can create or build anything they want using the parts in the tray. 

If you need some ideas for loose parts, try these: pom poms, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, small building blocks, tape, ribbons, beads, small animal figurines, magnetic blocks, little sticks, leaves, pebbles, chalk, stickers, or measuring cups.

You'll be amazed at the creative inventions they come up with!



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What our customers are saying

9 reviews
Making the kids think and be inspired

Got this as a gift for my nephew and niece. Their mother is a teacher and didn't want the typical video game or off-the-shelf present. So I got this hoping they would like it. Even better. They loved it and so did mom. So kid-approved and mom-approved.

Really nice to see when kids are interacting and actually learning. Reminds me of the time when I'd watch Nova and PBS and be so curious about the world. Thank you.

This just made our day! We're so happy your niece and nephew are enjoying their learning adventures!
3 Months ($24.50/mo)

Enjoying the adventures!

Great variety of activities!

My kids really enjoyed learning where chocolate comes from, how it is made, tasting it, and doing a craft all centered around chocolate. It was very well thought out box with everything they needed ready to go. We hope to explore other boxes from Plum Spark!

So glad your family enjoyed it! We hope you'll check more Plum Spark learning adventures too!
We maximized family time with Plum Spark!

Our family loved receiving our first Plum Spark learning adventure! The kids (ages 4-8) were super excited to gather around the box that came in the mail for them and open together. My oldest took the lead to pull out and examine each activity one at a time. The topic explored in this month’s box is Yoga, and the activities included were super fun for them! The boys gravitated towards a spice matching activity game, and I, as a mom, was pleasantly surprised with the sophisticated and high quality guide book and spice cards that had facts and information not only relevant and interesting to the small people in my life, but also me as an adult! Who knew cumin oil was used in some perfumes??!! We also loved the yoga cards and poses to try as a family and had a fun experience practicing together. My daughter adored the hands-on inner ear activity, and I appreciated having all of the important parts of the craft perfectly curated for me so less hassle and more family time. Excellent educational product! Couldn’t be happier with our family’s purchase and will definitely be a subscriber!

Learning made fun!

My daughter really enjoyed this kit, she can’t stop doing her yoga poses now! The activities are fun and are stimulating a lot of curiosity in my little one. The activities are well explained and there is a lot of attention in every little detail. It is also a great opportunity to try new things that you wouldn’t have imagined that your kid could be interested in! We really loved doing it together!