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.
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 Pots and Pans
Rubber Ice Cube Trays
Crazy Carpets ( cut into smaller pieces for a more open-ended experiance)
Small Garden Shovel
Pipettes and/or Droppers
These are items that you keep from your everyday recycling, they are also things recycled from building projects/ or other more commercial uses.
PVC Pipe and Connectors
5 Gallon Buckets
Empty Yogurt, Sour Cream, or Other Containers
Ice Cream Pails
Small Car Tires
Wooden Spools Large and Small
These are items found in nature
Sticks Large and Small
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.)
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.