Children need stuff to do stuff with. Stuff that can be used in any and every way by any and every child in any and every space. (Niki Buchan)
In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.’ (Simon Nicholson)
True Loose parts are offered to the children with no play or outcome expectation. There are no adult restrictions, they can be moved anywhere, used in any way and combined with any other objects. Every restriction placed reduces the 'looseness' of the resource and play. Some restrictions may be placed on the objects for safety reasons, the aim is to reduce restrictions as far as possible.
Given the freedom, time, and loose parts (tubes) children will imagine, invent, and create; every child in ways adults can hardly imagine. The adult is not the director of play, the educator is the mentor, guide and researcher; providing, observing, reflecting and analysing the child’s self-chosen play as they include the tubes in constructing, moving, combining, stacking, etc.
Some of the best loose parts are recycled objects adding to our sustainable ethos. They may not be perfect but they have tremendous play and learning value.