Child-Led Learning

Responsive Teaching at Paint Pots Nursery



Loose Parts and Sensory Play

In a play, loose parts are toys, games and various materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in many many ways. They can be natural resources as pine cones, shells, stones and wooden blocks, or scrap materials such as cups, rolling pins, cardboard boxes, or just casual objects that can inspire the little mind.

To an open and creative mind of a child, loose parts and sensory activities provide countless possibilities in their play. Their imagination can be restricted by toys with a particular purpose and can result in repetitive play and restricted development. Often you will find that children would rather play with tools and materials that they can use and adjust as they please, rather than expensive toys and play equipment. 

Loose materials and various specialised toys make the playtime to come from the child and become anything they want them to be – tyres can be rolled… and stacked… and balanced on…. and made into a fort…. and imagined as a car … or a plane … maybe a boat and much much more. 

Here at Paint Pots Nursery, we know for a fact that using loose parts learning activities support children to explore their naturally marvellous imaginations. They create new ways to make a castle with wooden bricks and a small village around with the use of old boxes, leaves and pine cones to make their own little kingdom.

Our children are now more focused and can use their own talents and creativity to fully engage with their learning while at Paint Pots, and build some fantastic team working skills with their friends at the same time.

The theory of loose parts first introduced by architect Simon Nicholson in the 1970s and the theory made a massive influence on child-play academics and experts who design play areas for children. Nicholson believed that ‘loose parts’ in our environment are empowering our creativity and thinking.

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Paint Pots Nursery in Perth is a leading centre for childcare and education operating in Perthshire. We opened our doors in 2001 and over the years have established strong links within the local community and have earned a fantastic reputation.

7 Strathview Terrace, Perth PH2 7HY

Tel: 0800 111 4954



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Dear Families,

Due to the outbreak of recent COVID-19 in the UK, we are currently unable to accommodate any visits to our nursery. Could we please ask everyone to stay safe and support one another during this time.

We are accepting childcare bookings from July 2020 onwards.

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