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In the Classroom: The Doodlebugs

Little and Loose

The Doodlebugs are exploring loose parts in our classroom and outdoors. The teachers have been thinking of many ways to add loose parts to our Reggio inspired infant and young toddler classroom.
Some may ask, what are loose parts?
Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials. Loose parts can be natural or synthetic.
Our young toddlers Elliot and Chloe explored the nature playground and discovered pinecones and sticks. Doodlebug teachers observed their little ones using expressive language when finding a stick. Elliot said, “big stick” and Chloe giggled when touching the grooves in the pine cone. This outdoor exploration also provided the children an opportunity for big body play with running and digging and climbing to see what can we find.
Once collecting our outdoor loose parts was done, we went back inside to our classroom to share what we found. While Oswald explored spools, sticks and pipe cleaners, Chloe added the pine cones she had found.
Marcella helped the children look closely at the holes on the top of the spool. The children grasped the pipe cleaners and pushed through the hole. We added ribbons and popsicle sticks to our play. The children became more curious about what can fit around the pine cones and through the spools.
This experience of loose parts encourages the children’s creativity and imagination along with developing more skills of cognitive awareness and development. It also provided a time for open-ended learning and free expression. And, our exploration of loose parts was lots of fun!