In the Classroom: The Moonbeams

Moonbeams on the playground

Moonbeams on the loose

Not all parents may be familiar with the idea of “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. 
Just a decade ago at PIC, toys that realistically mimicked genuine objects, such as plastic food that looked just like sushi or a taco complete with chopped tomatoes, were all the rage in our classrooms. We now recognize that while they may be adorable, these materials do not challenge children to use their imaginations and thus rob them of an important rite of passage. 
Now that spring is in the air and we are spending lots more time outside, children are often stuffing their hands and pockets with their natural treasures. Teachers recently witnessed how mulch turned into bottles of nail polish for a salon, large sticks were enlisted as horses for riding around the playground, and rocks became ingredients in a savory pot of soup for all to share. This kind of creative, visionary exercise of thinking outside the box is one that will help children throughout their lives.
PIC’s Recycleteria is a good place for teachers to find, and parents to drop off, loose parts for classroom use. If families have an abundance of stuff, including, but not limited to, wine corks, gift wrapping, plastic lids, small boxes, paper towel rolls, and random puzzle pieces, please bring your contribution to the second floor of the Spruce Building, next door to the Rainbow Room.