Toolkit for Loose Parts Play From Inspiring Scotland - Theresa Casey and Juliet Robertson

What do we hope to achieve through this Toolkit? Our aim 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. Toolkit aims • To raise awareness of the value of loose parts to children’s play • To provide practical guidance about loose parts play to those who work with children and young people of all ages • To advocate the use of loose parts as an approach to developing play opportunities at home, school and in the community. Who is the Toolkit for? The Toolkit will be useful for people working with children and young people across all age ranges, in many types of setting including schools, health and early learning and childcare settings, and for the many organisations that seek to engage children and families. This may include those who design or manage public spaces and visitor attractions, the creative sector, event organisers and businesses which provide services to families. Throughout this toolkit we have included examples and quotes from settings which are using loose parts as part of their provision for play. These come from a range of settings including early learning and childcare, schools and community-based projects. As the underlying approach remains the same, examples provided can easily be applied to different contexts, environments and age ranges and to be inclusive of children with additional need of support.
Special note for schools and early learning and childcare settings Loose parts are about real world learning for all children and young people. The process both of introducing them and of playing with them involves collaboration, sharing thinking, problem-solving and decision-making where the outcome is evident – better play experiences. The impact of facilitating quality loose parts play is improved health and well-being and so a positive cycle is put in place. Appendix 8 provides information about how embedding loose parts play can be a core part of a school or setting’s approach to Curriculum for Excellence and how it enables many experiences and outcomes, particularly in Health and Wellbeing, to be effectively bundled together. Thus this Toolkit supports the decluttering of the curriculum and providing space and time for staff to focus their time on developing skills, knowledge and understanding which support the learner’s journey. It dovetails with the advice contained in Curriculum for Excellence: A Statement for Practitioners from HM Chief Inspector of Education (2016).
Read the full document here