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Children don’t need fancy or expensive toys to learn!

Loose parts, which are objects or materials that can be used in a number of ways, are a great way to inspire creative thinking in your child. These objects can be natural, such as rocks, sticks or leaves, or items found around the home, such as paper towel tubes, spare pieces of fabric or old buttons.

When your child is given these types of materials to create with, it inspires creative thinking (“What can I use this for? Or “How can I connect these two materials together”) and provides your child an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

The children in the Head Start program were provided an opportunity to explore some loose parts on a mirror with a mitten drawn on.

In these photos you can see:

· Their fine motor skills developing as they pick up, move and manipulate the pieces on the mirror

· Early numeracy skills as they group, sort and count by color, shape or size and as they pattern

· Language skills as they talk about their creations

Wow! All those areas of development are enhancing with just marker lids and buttons!

Read more about the importance of play to a child's development here.


At Norwood Centre our team of qualified Early Childhood Development Subject Matter Experts work to provide tools that caregivers can use to support early childhood development. We hear you! If you have a question or concern, please ask us. We have a variety of Child Development Activities available on our website, find them at For short-term one-on-one coaching, please call us at 780-471-3737.

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