Loose parts play ideas
Autumn Leaves and Seedpods as Outdoor Imaginative Play Boosters!
I popped in to my son’s old preschool the other day and I saw this little cane cupboard propped right on the edge of the verandah. Yes! Baskets of autumn play props. I love it.
I can just imagine the play that might grow from something as simple as providing a few baskets (orderly, and separated into individual groups) filled with seedpods, teak seedpod pieces, gumnuts, magic seed bean pods (those ones that look like little boats) and autumn leaves – liquid ambers, dried frangipani leaves, in fact all kinds of dried leaf shapes will do.
I love the idea that loose part play ideas don’t just have to be things we might buy in a toy shop or find in an op shop. And that loose part toys are NOT just for inside play.
In fact, a little bookshelf outside with a few baskets (ones that can be replaced if and when they get a bit shabby or weathered) filled with stones, gemstones, shells, big branches, polished sticks or hand-picked pieces of driftwood… if we set something up like this with the idea that at the end of the day, children need to replace these ‘toys’ back into their homes, just as they would with their other toys, (rather than be left strewn about the lawn or garden) then I have a pretty good idea we might start to see some new and inventive kinds of play and pattern making.