Loose Parts Play
“Loose parts help create richer environments for children to play, giving them resources for open ended play. They can invent, construct, evaluate and modify their own constructions and ideas using these parts. In schools, this approach has had proven results, in many areas from changing behaviour and developing skills such as problem solving, creativity, coordination, resilience, more activity, social skills as well as improvements in health and well-being.”
Late in 2016, local groups Support from the Start and ELPA successfully approached the Area Partnership to consider a project to roll out loose parts play with needs analysis, training and support for schools in the Haddington and Lammermuir area. The project kicked off in May 2017.
Initially meeting and looking at the individual needs and set up, we began observations in the schools to see how they use their play space and how children are playing. The initial feedback has been super, with some considering a whole school approach, looking at training all staff and children.
We have begun rolling out training in the schools with sessions for teachers, supervisors and support staff. We will run sessions for the children when the projects are ready to get up and running as well as providing information sessions for parents and parent council are also planned.
One of the benefits of having a loose parts play development role means that we can tailor the approach to each setting rather than trying to roll out a one size fits all training. We believe that this will add to a sustainable change that allows the setting to embed the training and changes and continue to run with the approach long after funding has ended.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! We are also speaking to local community and businesses about supporting the project and helping us find loose parts by saving items that might otherwise go to landfill. Please get in touch if you have loose parts to offer!
With the recent launch of the play policy in East Lothian and the supporting film #choose play, we hope that the loose parts play project will grow and expand into other areas, supporting the community in areas out with schools.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page Loose Parts Play East Lothian and twitter @ELoosepartsplay which share ideas, inspiration, articles and success stories.
Resource link: https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/hub/loose-parts-play/
Contact the Haddington and Lammermuir Loose Parts Play Development Officer: Kelly Clarke email@example.com