Try Playing with “Loose Parts”

In restaurants, while riding in the car, or spending time at home, kids are watching TV or videos, playing video games, or using mobile devices. You may have the feeling in the back of your mind, that this can’t be all good. So, what do the experts recommend?

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends no screen time, except for video chatting, for babies up to 18 months. It recommends limiting preschoolers to an hour a day of screen time. This recommendation may shock you because you know that most children are logging much more screen time than this every day.

Getting Down to the Basics of Play

In this blog, we want to suggest one way to replace screen time with creative play time. Our suggestion comes from “The Theory of Loose Parts.” It states, “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.”

When we apply this theory to play for preschoolers, it might look like this: a box filled with bottle caps, pieces of fabric and wood, pebbles, string, rubber bands, containers, paper, tape, cardboard, crayons, and so on. The creativity and inventiveness happen when you give the box to your child and say, “What can you make with these?” Notice the question is open-ended, not specific like, “Can you make me an airplane with this?” Allowing the child to sort, stack, rearrange, and assemble the loose parts with no suggested outcome encourages creativity. (Tip: a box that’s big enough to sit in is always a good idea!)

Learn More About Our Curriculum

The Academy utilizes many educational theories to give our children the best learning experience possible. We are happy to share these with you to help you continue your child’s learning at home. Click here to learn more about our curriculum at The Academy

Find an Academy Preschool Near You

You can also check out our preschools in your city by clicking on any of the links below: