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Repurposed Materials and Loose Parts Play

Repurposed materials are great additions to any loose parts play set; you can challenge a child's imagination, add value to a material otherwise destined for the bin and introduce your wider learning community to the world of repurposed materials and loose parts play.


Have you ever been captivated by bubble wrap? Turned a wrapping paper tube into a lightsabre? Or gifted a cardboard box to your cat? If so, you've already grasped the basics of repurposed materials and loose parts play. Imagine exploring a treasure trove of odds and ends: wooden blocks, cardboard tubes, fabric scraps, bottle caps, and more. These seemingly mundane items become the building blocks of imagination, fostering creativity, motor skills, and problem-solving abilities in ways that standardised toys cannot match.


The question we often ask at ReMida is, if it can't be what it was, what can it be now? And if you've ever watched people at play using loose parts, you see the same thoughts going through their minds; and this is true regardless of your age. A cardboard box becomes a spaceship hurtling through the cosmos, or a fortress defending against imaginary foes, or a cozy home for a family of stuffed animals. The material has more than a purpose, it has a story, and through the act of play you enter into the world the materials create for you.

 

Something incredible happens when kids get their hands on repurposed materials. Those random bits and pieces become tools for the wildest adventures. But it's not just about playing make-believe. There's a bunch of skill-building going on, too. As kids stack blocks, thread beads, or carefully balance all sorts of stuff, they're not just having fun—they're fine-tuning their coordination and dexterity. And those skills? They're not just for playtime. They lay the groundwork for all sorts of cool stuff down the road, from acing handwriting to mastering sports.


So, when you think about it, loose parts play with repurposed materials isn't just child's play—it's a game-changer. It sparks imagination, builds skills, and teaches kids to be mindful of the world they live in. So, the next time you come across a pile of old stuff, don't see junk—see potential. Who knows? It might be the key to unlocking a world of wonder for a child.



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