Toddlers are natural tinkerers. They want to explore their world with their fingers, picking up and playing with everything they can get their hands on. Introducing loose parts into playtime is a great way to engage your toddlers’ senses and encourage learning. Furthermore, it fits perfectly with the Reggio Emilia approach we follow for child care in St. Augustine, FL, which emphasizes the role that a learner’s environment plays in their education. As your toddler plays with loose parts, they are determining for themselves how those parts fit in with the larger environment and the many ways they can interact with them.
However, how can you ensure your toddler gets the most out of playing with loose parts — and does it safely? We recommend a few simple tips.
First, do not let your toddler play unsupervised with any object that may pose a choking hazard. Remember that loose parts do not necessarily have to be small. For example, large plastic cups are perfect for a toddler to play with.
Next, avoid overwhelming your child by introducing too many different loose parts at once. It is best to add just a few new elements at a time and rotate them in and out as necessary.
Finally, give your toddler objects that range widely in appearance and texture. You want to entice their curiosity and their senses, so gather a diverse array of loose objects for them to play with.
Learn more about the student-centered philosophy of our child care in St. Augustine, FL. We believe in an engaging, self-guided curriculum for all ages.