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Ultimate Outdoor Loose Parts List for Winter!

Ultimate Outdoor Loose Parts List for Winter!

As an outdoor educator in Canada, winter can pose all sorts of challenges and I have found many loose parts work differently in different weather. I want to share what I have learned for those of us who want to use loose parts during snowy, wet, or colder seasons! These loose parts will work great in your backyard, schoolyard, local park or any outdoor space. They are fun when there is snow on the ground and will survive colder weather. 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

  • Muffin Tins

  • Cake Pans

  • Rubber Ice Cube Trays

  • Cookie Sheets

  • Old Sleds

  • Crazy Carpets ( cut into smaller pieces for a more open-ended experiance)

  • Snow Shovels

  • Tarps

  • Rope

  • Spray Bottles

  • Small Garden Shovel

  • Pipettes and/or Droppers

  • Ribbon

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

  • PVC Pipe and Connectors

  • 5 Gallon Buckets

  • Lumber Scraps

  • Plywood Scraps

  • Rubber Tubing

  • 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 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

  • Coloured Ice Cubes (Use liquid water colour, or food dye to tint ice various shades for play)

  • Large Ice (Freeze in large containers or balloons, add colour or leave clear for various experiences.)

  • Pine Branches

  • Christmas Tree's

Share this List with friends, or co-workers to bring your outdoor play to the next level this winter. 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 winter long.

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