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Ultimate List of Loose Parts for Spring and Summer!

Ultimate Outdoor Loose Parts List for Spring!

As an outdoor educator in Canada, Spring can provide a refreshing energy boost and new found motivation to get outside and play. Loose parts can be a great way to spend warm spring afternoons outside or long summer afternoons. These loose parts will work great in your backyard, schoolyard, local park or other outdoor space. The last thing I love about loose parts is the nature of these items makes them affordable and easy to source. Send this list to parents, friends and family and you will have a supply within no time.

What is a Loose Part?

Loose parts are open-ended objects children can use to build, create and play. They are often recycled natural or found materials. They don't have a fixed purpose and can be used in a multitude of ways. We often can see the value of loose parts when we laugh about how children prefer the box the toy came in over the actual toy. This is because the box is open-ended and can change to be whatever the child's imagination desires it to be while the toy might have a fixed purpose and lose its entertainment value once its purpose has been explored or discovered.

Found Items

These are items that you may have laying around in excess, or can easily find at a second-hand shop, or ask friends and family to donate.

  • Metal Utensils

  • Metal Pots and Pans

  • Colanders

  • Muffin Tins

  • Cake Pans

  • Rubber Ice Cube Trays

  • Cookie Sheets

  • Tarps

  • Baskets

  • Rope

  • Metal Funnels

  • Tent Pegs

  • Small Cement Blocks

  • Wooden Mallet

  • Spray Bottles

  • Small Garden Tools

  • Pipettes and/or Droppers

  • Ribbon

  • Artifical Flowers

  • Water Pump and 5 Gallon Water Jug

  • Chalk

  • Gardening Shovels

  • Wheel Barrow

  • Pop Tubes

Recycled Items

These are items that you keep from your everyday recycling, they are also things recycled from building projects/ or other more commercial uses.

  • Perforated Pipe

  • Drainage Pipes

  • PVC Pipe and Connectors

  • 5 Gallon Buckets

  • Lumber Scraps

  • Plywood Scraps

  • Rubber Tubing

  • Nursery Pots

  • Pallets

  • Empty Yogurt, Sour Cream, or Other Containers

  • Ice Cream Pails

  • Milk Crates

  • Condiment Bottles

  • Bike Rims

  • Bike Tires

  • Small Car Tires

  • Lattice Scraps

  • Wooden or Plastic Spools Large and Small

Natural Items

These are items found in nature

  • Pine Cones

  • Stumps

  • Logs

  • Sticks Large and Small

  • Rocks

  • Ice in Various Shapes/ Colours

  • Cut Flowers

  • Coloured Water ( use liquid water colours, or food colouring to dye water)

  • Leaves, Dandelions or Other Plentiful Natural Elements

Share this List with friends, or co-workers and bring your outdoor play to the next level this spring. We love seeing others get inspired, tag us in all your awesome outdoor play on social media @playcreativeseeds or join one of our outdoor play programs for more inspiration and ideas. We hope this helps with new outdoor play ideas all year long.

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