Loose Parts Play in K-1

  loose parts storage

Out of all the new things I implemented this past year, loose parts play is my favorite.
I have been interested in incorporating into my classroom for years. Especially after watching my Kindergarten students do it naturally with all of our resources in math centers.

loose parts play

This year I purchased two sets: Fall and Spring. Next year I will be incorporating a Winter set as well.


I purchased these adjustable drawers from Amazon and they are perfect, because you can stack them all together when you are done!

storing loose parts

For this set, I purchased: 


loose parts play

Of course, being in New Hampshire has its perks, I was also able to add some beautiful maple and oak leaves as they began to change.

K-1 loose parts play

This became one of our arrival activities each week. I loved seeing the different creations they would make!

Loose parts play in K-1
loose parts exploration
exploring with loose parts
loose parts learning
loose play learning
loose parts play
Loose parts play in K-1

Loose parts play can get messy! But thanks to the drawers, they were able to clean it quickly and efficiently each time we used them!

loose parts in K-1 

I think this was one of my most favorite creations. He used a lotus pod as the top for the tent and sticks, feathers and dowels for supports. It became a campground!

loose parts freeplay

To store it, I just placed everything into Ziploc sandwich bags and then put them altogether in a two gallon Ziploc bag. Now it is ready to go for next fall!

storing loose parts


For this set, I purchased: 

and I included the wooden people from the Fall set.

Spring loose parts

I put this one out in March, I could not resist. We were at the end of another long dreary, gray winter!

Spring loose parts
They were so excited by all of the colors and textures!

loose parts, Spring materials
loose parts
playing with loose parts
loose parts exploration

They even found ways to connect the felt balls to the popsicle sticks. A few even included flowers in the mix, but I missed the picture of those!

Loose parts play
loose parts feathers

This set definitely added a bit of fun to our Monday morning arrival time!

colorful loose parts

These last two sets are not exactly loose parts, but they are two collections my class adores.

One is all the buttons I have collected over the years from making jewelry.

old jewelry loose parts

Some even came from my old necklaces and bracelets. I spent a rainy Saturday taking them apart.

epicycle old jewelry

They love sorting them and asking me all about where I got the beads and what kind of jewelry they belonged too.

loose play with beads

Last up is our button bin! 

They have used them on our 120's chart. But most often, they use them for sorting.

buttons for loose parts play

 I have a few students who like to see how they change when they put them on our light table!

light table, buttons
Do you use loose parts in your class?

Update for 2020: The white trays were not as durable as I hoped. The dividers didn't come down all the way to the bottom and they got rather messy. 

I purchased these bamboo trays back in 2018 and I love them!

new loose parts trays

The dividers cannot be moved but the four areas are just the perfect size for the materials. The bamboo
looks so pretty with the materials for loose parts too!

*All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

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