One Way Loose Parts Can Support A Child’s Development


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Working with young children I always try to find new and exciting ways to introduce numeracy development within their play. At my local opshop I found the wood tray and cup. Add some tongs and natural loose parts. I’ve chosen wooden acorns, however, you could use wood buttons, wood rings, the list goes on…

When this type of provocation is set up at preschool I often notice the children moving the loose parts from one bowl or cup to another. Their urge to collect, gather, transfer, and transport takes over, as they use their fine motor skills to grip the tongs and move the parts about. I highly recommend having lots of the same thing. One or even five wood acorns are not going to be enough. Imagine 5 children all wanting to play at the same time. As teachers we can’t expect each child to have one acorn. Where is the fun in that? You are going to need lots of the same thing to satisfy their urges.

Although the intent for the provocation may be for supporting numeracy development and fine motor skills, it’s important to let the child/ren take the lead in their play. You may find some children count and others collect for the fun of it. Who says a wood acorn can’t become a dummy for their doll? Either way, they are learning and growing, and it’s important we provide the resources so they can do just that.

Fine motor skills: Are smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes. Fine motor skills are vital for a child’s physical development. Nimble fingers help to support pen grip – needed for writing. 

You can find the Wood Acorns and Tongs here

Categories: Teaching Ideas

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