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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